Washington Post columnist mocks Pope Francis’ ’empty gesture’ for peace in Ukraine

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Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin took to Twitter Friday to mock Pope Francis’ attempt to halt the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. 

“[A]s empty gestures go, impressive,” the left-wing columnist tweeted, responding to NBC News reporter Richard Engle confirming a report that the pope had made an effort to sue for peace directly with Russia. 

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In an unprecedented gesture, Francis visited the Russian embassy in Rome earlier on Friday to express his concern over the war. According to the Associated Press, officials at the Vatican said they knew of no previous initiative by the pope to end a conflict in such a way. 

Jennifer Rubin and Pope Francis

Jennifer Rubin and Pope Francis
(Jennifer Rubin and Pope Francis)

The tweet sparked intense backlash from other users, with one mocking Rubin changing her name on the site to “Jennifer ‘I stand with Ukraine’ Rubin. 

Her name previously read “Jennifer ‘pro-voting’ Rubin,” in an apparent reference to her frequent criticisms of recently passed or proposed Republican state election laws.

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Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early Thursday morning following weeks of speculation as Russian troop numbers swelled at the border between the two countries and in neighboring Belarus.

As of Friday, Russian forces continued pushing into Ukraine from the North, West and South, with those in the North entering the city limits of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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