11-year-old crosses Ukraine border ALONE with only a backpack and a phone number

By Malavika Pradeep

Published Mar 7, 2022 at 09:16 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

28406

As Russia continues to invade Ukraine, the Slovakian police have shared the heartbreaking story of a 11-year-old boy who travelled to the Slovakia-Ukraine border by himself—with only a backpack, a passport, a note from his mother and a telephone number scribbled on his hand.

11-year-old crosses Ukraine border ALONE with only a backpack and a phone number

Hailing from Zaporizhzhia in southeast Ukraine, the boy reportedly travelled over 1,000 kilometres by train to Slovakia alone in hopes of finding his relatives.

“Volunteers took care of him, kept him warm and provided him with food and drink, which they packed for him on his next journey,” the Slovakian police force shared in a post—along with images of the bright boy wrapped in a jacket, hat, scarf and a red backpack. Despite his undoubtedly traumatic travel, the 11-year-old won over the border officials “with his smile, fearlessness and determination, worthy of a real hero.” The police then hailed him as “a hero of the night.”

11-year-old crosses Ukraine border ALONE with only a backpack and a phone number

Thanks to the telephone number written on the boy’s hand and the note from his mother folded inside his passport, the border authorities were able to get in touch with the 11-year-old’s relatives in Slovakia—who were then able to collect him from the camp. “He came all alone because his parents had to stay in Ukraine,” the post went on to share.

Soon after the boy was united with his loved ones in Slovakia, his mother sent a video thanking the Slovak government and the police for taking care of him.

“My name is Yulia V Pisecka, I’m a Ukrainian citizen from Zaporizhzhia,” she said in the video. “There is a nuclear plant next to my town, which the occupants [Russians] are shooting at. It was on fire. I can’t leave my mother, she can’t move independently. So I sent my son alone on a train towards the Slovak border, where he met people with a big heart.”

11-year-old crosses Ukraine border ALONE with only a backpack and a phone number

“My son is 11 years old and he arrived at the Slovak border by train, where he met customs officers who took him by the hand and helped him cross the border into Slovakia. In Slovakia, volunteers took care of him, gave him food and took him to Bratislava,” she continued. “I want to express my sincere gratitude for all Slovak customs officers and the volunteers who cared for my son. They helped him cross the border on his own. I am grateful that you saved my child’s life.”

With Russia’s attack on the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe (housed in Zaporizhzhia) raising fears of a global catastrophe, the 11-year-old’s journey is just one example out of the 1.3 million people estimated to have crossed from Ukraine into neighbouring countries since war broke out on 24 February. “Please save our Ukrainian children and give them a safe haven,” the boy’s mother urged, breaking down in tears towards the end of the video.

Keep On Reading

By Abby Amoakuh

Channel 4’s Queenie is a love letter to messy Black women in their quarter-life crisis

By Abby Amoakuh

What is phrogging? Signs you might have a stranger hiding in your floorboards

By Abby Amoakuh

Lesbian couple told by GP to sleep with a man if they want to have a baby

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Children as young as 14 participate in feral cat-killing competition, leaving over 300 animals dead

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel after taking distasteful jab at Amy Schumer’s appearance

By Abby Amoakuh

Comedian Arj Barker responds after throwing breastfeeding mother and baby out of his show

By Abby Amoakuh

From Disney star to space start-up CEO, here’s everything you need to know about Bridgit Mendler

By Louis Shankar

60th Venice Biennale proves that art is rarely, if ever, apolitical

By Abby Amoakuh

Which surprise songs is Taylor Swift performing during the Eras tour? A guide on what to expect

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

AI reimagines 10 of your favourite movie characters as pink Barbie-like icons

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

White West Virginia couple arrested for allegedly using adopted Black children as slaves

By Malavika Pradeep

What is a femboy? Understanding this gender expression term

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Taylor Swift fans clash over photo of baby left unattended on floor at Paris Eras Tour concert

By Abby Amoakuh

Everything we know so far about The Summer I Turned Pretty season 3

By Abby Amoakuh

Minister scraps scheme for funding sex services for disabled people, citing taxpayer opposition

By Abby Amoakuh

JoJo Siwa reveals she spent a staggering $50,000 on this surprising cosmetic surgery procedure

By Charlie Sawyer

Who is going to be Donald Trump’s running mate? Will his top VP pick be a wildcard or safety option?

By Charlie Sawyer

O.J. Simpson dies at the age of 76 following a battle with cancer 

By Charlie Sawyer

Quiet on Set documentary: Nickelodeon star Drake Bell details extensive sexual assault at 15 by Brian Peck

By Charlie Sawyer

OnlyFans models are using breastfeeding content as a loophole to bypass Instagram’s nudity policy