As Russia continues to mourn and memorialize the death of Putin propagandist and journalist Darya Dugina, Pope Francis received criticism from Ukraine on Wednesday for a tone-deaf statement regarding Dugina’s death.

During a Wednesday service in Rome, Pope Francis made a statement regarding the death of Darya Dugina, the daughter of philosopher and Putin’s brain Alexander Dugin and a well-known Kremlin-aligned journalist, blaming her death on the Russia-Ukraine war, according to the Daily Beast.

“I think of that poor girl blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow,” he said. “The innocent pay for war. The innocent! Let us think about this reality and say to each other: War is madness.”

Pope Francis, who has been well-known for refusing to condemn Putin for the invasion of Ukraine and for blaming the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the war, received more criticisms from Ukraine for the tone-deaf statement.

“Today’s speech of Pope was disappointing & made me think about many things: can’t speak in same categories about aggressor & victim, rapist and raped,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See Andrii Yurash said.

Russian media and government officials have been utilizing Dugina’s death as a rallying cry for “Russian victory,” with many of the country’s elites calling for vengeance in what they baselessly claim to be Ukrainian-led attacks on the country, al-Jazeera reported.

“The huge price we have to pay can only be justified by the highest achievement: our victory,” Alexander Dugin said during her funeral service. “She lived for the sake of victory, and she died for the sake of victory. Our Russian victory, our truth, our Orthodox faith, our state.”

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the death as a “vile, cruel crime” and has given Dugina the Order of Courage posthumously. The continued blame of Dugina’s death via car bombing on Ukraine despite the country’s denial regarding the death has made them weary regarding potential future attacks from Russia in retaliation, the BBC reported.

“I consider it a barbarous crime for which there can be no forgiveness,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “I hope the investigation will be quickly completed and according to the results of this investigation of course there can be no mercy for the organizers, those who commissioned this, and the perpetrators.”

Pope Francis drew flak on Wednesday after blaming the death of Russian propagandist Darya Dugina on the Russia-Ukraine war, as Russia hails Dugina as a martyr for the country's cause. Franco Origlia/Getty Images.

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