Forgive the mechanical voice in the video.

VATICAN CITY – Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.

As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.

One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.

It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.

While speaking at the window beforehand, Francis had appealed for peace in Ukraine, where anti-government protesters have died.

Police and demonstrators in Kiev clashed again on Sunday as protests against President Viktor Yanukovich’s abrupt turn away from the European Union towards Russia, Ukraine’s former Soviet overlord.

“I am close to Ukraine in prayer, in particular to those who have lost their lives in recent days and to their families,” Pope Francis said.

“I hope that a constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society can take place, that any resort to violence is avoided and that the spirit of peace and a search for the common good is in the hearts of all.”

The mass rallies against Yanukovich’s rule erupted last November after he pulled out of a free trade deal with the EU in favor of closer economic ties with Russia.

They have since spiraled into protests against misrule and corruption among Ukraine’s leaders and officials. There have been violent clashes with police in Kiev city center, resulting in the death of three protesters last week, two from gunshot wounds.

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