Andriy Yurash presents Pope Francis with a toy from a Dnipro home destroyed by the 'Russian World'
According to Vatican Radio, the meeting lasted for approximately an hour and focused on issues related to the war, the search for peace, and Cardinal Zuppi's mission.
The Ukrainian ambassador expressed his gratitude to the Pope for this initiative. They also discussed the shelling of a humanitarian aid warehouse in Lviv. The ambassador mentioned the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, the artificial famine in Ukraine.
As a symbol of the tragedy that Ukraine is experiencing, the ambassador presented Pope Francis with a plush teddy bear found in a house destroyed by a Russian missile in Dnipro on January 14, 2023. The missile strike resulted in the deaths of 46 people, including three children. The torn and charred toy was found among the debris. Pope Francis assured that he would pray for Ukraine and its people, emphasizing that he would never cease to do so.
Andriy Yurash commented on his visit to the Pope, saying, "Friday's meeting with Pope Francis is not only an opportunity to present and discuss some practical matters with His Holiness but also a chance to make an incredibly emotional and irrational investment. I was pleased to give the Pontiff a teddy bear—a children's toy that bears witness to the terrible tragedy of Ukraine as a whole and the city of Dnipro. Perhaps yesterday's moving words from the Pope in support of Ukraine on his way from Marseille are an emotional response to the story told by this teddy bear."