ROME, November 29. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the Vatican Alexander Avdeev has presented a protest to the Holy See over remarks by Pope Francis published in America Magazine, the Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture, on alleged atrocities by Russian service members.
"Late on November 28, I made a representation to the leadership of the Vatican’s diplomatic service protesting the strange remarks Pope Francis made in an interview published on the website of America Magazine. Russia is outraged at the insinuation of alleged atrocities by Russian service people during the course of the special military operation in Ukraine," the envoy told TASS on Tuesday.
"The unity of the multi-ethnic Russian people is unshakable and nobody will ever challenge that," Avdeev assured.
In the interview, Pope Francis said the Chechens and the Buryats were "the cruelest" of the troops in Ukraine. Commenting on the pontiff’s remark on Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said his statement was not just Russophobic, but an outrageous distortion of the truth.
Upon his return from Bahrain earlier, the head of the Catholic Church claimed that the Russian people were "a great people" and that it was the cruelty "of the mercenaries, of the soldiers who go off to war as an adventure" that struck him.