Roman Catholic Pope Francis has denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “macabre regression of humanity.”

During his noon blessing on St. Peter’s Square, Francis, 85, said the war makes him “suffer and cry” and called for humanitarian corridors to facilitate the evacuation of civilians trapped in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.

Although he did not specifically criticize Russia, Frances said the Ukrainian Azov Sea port city had been “barbarously bombarded and destroyed.”

Francis has lamented the war several times since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

“May the weapons fall silent,” he said during a Mass on April 27, “so that those who have the power to stop the war hear the cry for peace coming from all of humanity.”

A reminder that, on February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting a war. Russian troops are shelling and destroying the key infrastructure facilities, launching missile and air strikes on residential areas in Ukrainian cities and villages, torturing and murdering civilians.