Pope on Russia's invasion of Ukraine: 'In the name of God, stop this massacre'.

The Pope has said the bombings of children's hospitals and civilian targets in the Russian invasion of Ukraine are 'barbaric' and have 'no valid strategic reason'.

The 85-year-old said Ukrainians are being massacred and that he is 'begging for an end to the war', in his Sunday address at the Vatican.

Pope Francis spoke to the crowds gathered at St Peter's Square this morning and said: 'In the name of God, let the cry of the suffering people be heard, and let the bombings and attacks stop.

'In the name of God, I ask you, stop this massacre.'

The head of the Catholic Church prayed to the Virgin Mary and the city that bears her name - Mariupol.

He said the Mariupol has become a city of martyrs in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

More than 1,500 people have died in the besieged city and the deputy mayor claimed the area had been 'totally destroyed'.

Thousands of its inhabitants remain without food, water, electricity or heat as relentless shelling continued to blast shops and residential apartments.

Russia bombed a children’s and maternity hospital on Wednesday in Mariupol, killing at least three people, including a six-year-old girl.

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