Ukraine's Zelenskiy meets with Pope Francis

STORY: The pope gifted Zelenskiy with a bronze sculpture symbolizing peace while the Ukrainian president offered the pontiff a bulletproof vest that had been used by a Ukrainian soldier and later painted with an image of the Madonna.

At the start of the war, the pope tried to take a balanced approach in hopes of being a mediator but later began forcefully condemning Russia's actions, comparing them to some of the worst crimes against Ukraine during the Soviet era.

Francis has pleaded for peace practically on a weekly basis, and has repeatedly expressed a wish to act as a broker between Kyiv and Moscow. His offer has so far failed to produce any breakthrough.