Pope Francis received Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his wife, Olena, at the Vatican on February 8. “I asked for help with the release of Ukrainians captured in the Donbas, Crimea, and Russia,” the Ukrainian president wrote on Twitter, referring to prisoners of war held by Russia and by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March 2014. A month later, fighting broke out in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people and displaced more than 1 million. The 83-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church has on several occasions voiced hope for an end to the conflict.