Conflicts & War

A Ukrainian boy’s 1,200 km solo odyssey to safety in Slovakia

Prague, Mar 7 (EFE).- An 11-year-old Ukrainian boy from a town on the Dnieper River in central Ukraine has traveled 1,700 kilometers — 1,200 of them unaccompanied — to join relatives in Bratislava, Slovak police said Monday.

“With only a plastic bag, a passport and a phone number written on his hand, he arrived completely alone,” police said of child, whose epic journey has turned him into a hero in Slovakia.

“He won over everyone with his smile, courage and determination, something that corresponds to a true hero,” police added.

His mother, Julia Volodymyrivna, a widow with several children, had to stay in their home town of Zaporizhia to look after the boy’s grandmother, she explains in a video published by the police.

In the video, Volodymyrivna explains that she put her son on a train bound for the border with Slovakia, some 1,200 kilometers away.

The minor was accompanied to the border crossing by customs officers, and after crossing over into Slovakia, an EU member state, volunteers took care of him before contacting his family in Slovakia, who arrived to take the boy “and everything ended well,” one of the volunteers said. EFE


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