Pope condemns 'barbarous' Ukraine bombing

STORY: Ukraine said at least 18 people were killed and about 60 injured on Monday (June 27) by a Russian missile strike. Russia's defence ministry said it had hit a legitimate military target in the city, and that the shopping centre was not in use.

"Every day, I carry in my heart dear and martyred Ukraine, which continues to be flagellated by barbarous attacks like the one that hit the shopping centre in Kremenchuk," Francis told crowds in St. Peter's Square on the feast of St. Peter and Paul.

"I pray that this mad war can soon end and I renew my appeal to persevere without tiring in praying for peace.."

The 85-year-old pontiff also appealed for the protection of the environment as northern Italy is being hit by the worst drought in 70 years.