MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Deputy Speaker of Russia's Federation Council (upper house) Konstantin Kosachev has fired back at Pope Francis’s racially charged remark about the supposed ‘cruelty’ of Chechen and Buryat troops in the zone of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine as completely unacceptable, when ushering in a historical and documentary exhibition dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.
Pope Francis earlier said in an interview with the US media that "the cruelest are perhaps those who are of Russia but are not of the Russian tradition, such as the Chechens, the Buryats and so on."
"From my point of view, the statement is completely unacceptable both in form and content. As for its form, it’s not for the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to comment on a situation that neither the state (the Vatican) nor the Roman Catholic Church has anything to do with, I would like to make it clear," Kosachev said, when asked to comment on the pontiff's statement.
As for content, Pope Francis’s remarks are "completely false" and "it’s surprising that they came from one of the leaders of Christianity," the Federation Council deputy speaker said.
According to Kosachev, the pontiff’s statement draws "a dividing line between peoples and religions." "It is totally unacceptable in today’s world and I can only regret that Pope Francis made an enormous mistake in this case, which can only have a negative impact on the conflict and will in no way help the parties find common ground and a way out of the crisis through reconciliation," Kosachev emphasized.