Vatican City, 19 February 2014 (VIS) – Following today’s catechesis, Pope Francis launched an appeal for an end to the violence in Ukraine, in whose capital Kiev there have been clashes between the forces of order and anti-government demonstrators, causing twenty-five deaths last night. “It is with concern that I follow the events in Kiev during these days. I assure the Ukrainian people of my closeness and pray for the victims of the violence, for their families, and for the injured. I urge all parties to cease every form of violence and to pursue harmony and peace throughout the country”.