11-Year-Old Ukrainian Boy Traveling 600 Miles To Slovakia Touches Hearts With His Bravery

I don’t think it’s too far a reach to say each and every one of us wants to feel safe. We want to live a life of peace and calm, get on with our days and come home to our families or pets. Sadly, wars upheave these dreams and for many, survival takes precedent. Even when choices are limited and solutions come at a price, mothers will do everything they can to protect their children.

The war in Ukraine is ever-escalating, with concerns growing for the Ukrainian people. Thankfully, some have been able to escape potential danger by making their way to neighboring countries, such as Poland, Slovakia and Moldova. This is a story of an 11-year-old brave boy who, instructed by his mother, traveled over 600 miles from southeastern Ukraine to the Slovakian border, only carrying a passport and telephone numbers scribbled on his hand.

More info: Facebook

11-year-old boy went on a 600-mile journey, escaping the war in Ukraine and safely reaching Slovakia all by himself

Image credits: Ministerstvo vnútra SR

The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic posted a story of an 11-year-old boy who braved a journey of over 600 miles from southeastern Ukraine to the Slovakian border, taking a plastic bag, his passport and telephone numbers scribbled on his hand as his only companions. The family of the boy lived in Zaporizhzhia, which is close to the nuclear plant that recently came under attack from Russian forces.

Yulia Pisetskaya, the boy’s mother, explained that she had put her son on a train to Slovakia from Zaporizhzhia out of desperation. She had to stay back because she was unwell and had to look after her disabled mother, so it was the only way to provide a glimmer of hope for the child.

Image credits: Homoatrox

Bored Panda reached out to Zuzana Vatralova, Head of Office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Slovakia. She explained that “people coming from Ukraine as a consequence of the conflict did not have a chance to prepare for the trip, many of whom never planned any trip to the west. People have fled their homes at the toughest time of year, the winter is still quite severe in many places. Many left with only the clothes on their backs and a handful of prized possessions. For some of them, finding safety in an unknown place with warm drinks, food, and a temporary shelter where they can sleep after days of fear and flight is a priority”.

Zuzana continued to say that, according to media news, “dozens of unaccompanied migrant minors without parent(s) or adult guardian fled Ukraine to Slovakia; about 70 were admitted to the centers for children and families, stated Central Office of Labor, Social Affairs and Family”.

Volunteers at the Slovakian border provided the boy with food and contacted his relatives with the phone numbers written on his hand

Image credits: Ministerstvo vnútra SR

Volunteers at the Slovakian border met the boy, provided him with food, warmth and were able to contact his loved ones in Slovakia, thanks to the written note and phone number on his small hand. The Slovakian Interior Ministry said on Facebook that the boy “won everybody’s hearts with his smile, fearlessness and determination, worthy of a real hero.” His loved ones came for him soon after receiving the call. Local reports suggest the 11-year-old’s siblings have also made it to Slovakia.

According to observations of IOM staff at the Slovak-Ukrainians border to-date, people arriving from Ukraine are calm, waiting patiently for the administration of their entry in Slovakia. Zuzana explained that some of them are waiting for relatives or acquaintances who are helping them on their next journey, “the next part remains in reception centers in eastern Slovakia, where they are provided with humanitarian aid – water, food, temporary accommodation and processing their applications for temporary refuge or international protection in Slovakia”.

Image credits: Ministerstvo vnútra SR

The boy’s mother states that she couldn’t leave her own mother and is grateful to everyone who helped her son

Image credits: The Daily Mail

The boy’s mother stated in a video shared by The Interior Ministry and translated by The Daily Mail: “I am a widow and I have more children. I want to thank the Slovak customs and volunteers who took care of my son and helped him cross the border. I am grateful you have saved my child’s life. Next to my town is a nuclear power plant that the Russians are shooting at. I couldn’t leave my mother – she can’t move on her own. People with a big heart live in your small country.”

The amount of trust and faith she must have had in the boy to send him on such a difficult journey truly shows the strong bond they hold as a family.

Image credits: The Daily Mail

The story has touched many hearts. It is difficult to imagine what this mother and many more have to be going through. This war has upheaved lives, cost too many, and continues to impact many more. According to Zuzana, it is obvious that people leave in a rush: “they are generally very sad and even when they meet with relatives waiting for them, they burst into tears. One can sense the relief of getting into safety but fear prevails. According to those that we asked, they do hope to return home soon but do not dare to predict how long it would take”.

She ends her message with a plea: “Please save our Ukrainian children”

Image credits: The Daily Mail

The post by The Slovakian Interior Ministry urged those who want to help the boy’s mother and grandmother who can’t get out of Ukraine to contact the Association of Christian Youth Fellowships at eduard[email protected]

When asked what would be the most effective ways to help Ukrainian people, Zuzana replied: “If you want to help people in Ukraine make a donation to a reputable organization that can deliver needed assistance to the people. You can also donate money or needed items, volunteer at the border, reception centers or institutions (like foreign police), or offer accommodation and personal assistance to Ukrainians, e.g. helping them with administration, finding jobs, teaching local languages and generally helping them settle down in new country. The longer the conflict lasts, the more helping hands will be needed”.

An update has been published by The Slovakian Interior Ministry – the boy and his siblings have applied for temporary protection

Image credits: Roman Mikulec – minister vnútra SR

A further update came from The Slovakian Interior Ministry where we can see the Interior Minister Roman Mikulec exchanging smiles with the boy. We learn that the child’s name is Hassan and the statement following the pictures states: “On his way [Hassan] has shown great determination, courage and fearlessness, which sometimes even adults do not have. I am really very sorry for him and all the other children and their families who have to flee their country because of what is happening in Ukraine. He and his siblings have already applied for temporary protection”.

The Interior Minister continued, assuring all those who are fleeing Ukraine that “they are ready to help here in Slovakia.” People are assured to find safety and, if applying for temporary protection, they will be provided with health care, social security, food, accommodation, education and job opportunities.

Image credits: Roman Mikulec – minister vnútra SR

The nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia was attacked by Russian soldiers, causing the boy and other inhabitants to flee; the war continues to escalate

Image credits: zelenskiy_official

Russian troops had attacked the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe, creating around 20 percent of Ukraine’s electricity, in the early hours of Friday, March 4th. CCTV captured a fierce gun battle between Putin’s men and Ukrainian defenders that sparked a fire in a six-storey training building just outside the main complex. Russian soldiers then stopped firefighters getting to the building for several hours.

A reported 1.7 million Ukrainian refugees have now fled to neighboring countries following the invasion by Russia. More than 128,000 refugees have arrived in Slovakia since February 24, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The numbers are said to rise and we, people outside of Ukraine, must offer our support for war victims. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stated: “We are not afraid of tanks and machine guns. When the truth is on our side.”

A single inspiring story describes a nation: strong, determined, and fighting for their lives

Image credits: Ministerstvo vnútra SR

We are strong together. Only through empathy, humanity, and patience can we expect to see the end of this war. But for now, we observe and wait for a better day. Let us know what you think of this story, would you do the same for your children? For now, have a good one and stay safe!

The story has touched people all over the world and they are sending their love and prayers to them

Many are commending him and his mother for their bravery in these difficult times

“Stay brave and safe”: A message for every single one affected by the war


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