11-year-old Ukrainian boy travels 1000 kilometers by himself to get to safety in Slovakia

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In a bid to escape the now war-torn Ukraine, an 11-year-old boy traveled all the way from the city of Zaporizhzhia to Slovakia. The little Ukrainian refugee journeyed all alone leaving behind his mother who decided to stay back and care for her sick mother.

After the Russian forces captured a nuclear power facility in Zaporizhzhia last week, the boy’s mother, Volodymyrivna Pisecka, sent her dear son on a 1,000-kilometer train journey all by himself in order to find his relatives on the other side. The child arrived In Slovakia with a plastic bag and a passport, according to the Interior Ministry.

He also had a telephone number scribbled on his hand with the help of which people ultimately reunited him with his family in Bratislava. According to WION, Pisecka provided a video statement in which she thanked the Slovak government and police officials for taking care of her child. “In your small country, there are people with great hearts. Please save our Ukrainian children,” said Pisecka.

Now the child has captivated everyone at the border with his endearing smile and courage, with some even calling him “a great hero.” Volunteers at the location reportedly looked after him before arranging transportation for him to be taken to a warm shelter where he was provided food and drink. Later they helped him reconnect with his family.

While the boy made his way out of Ukraine, his mother stayed back there are many who have decided to do the same. Andrea Cisternino, who has lived in Ukraine for the past 13 years, refused to leave without the hundreds of animals he has rescued over the years. Cisternino has established his award-winning animal shelter, KJ2 Italia Animal Refuge, which is in a location not far from Kyiv.

What started out as a dog shelter now houses many different animals and Cisternino each of them equally. “It is an animal shelter that was initially for dogs, then also other animals, like horses,” he noted Cisternino, who used to be a fashion photographer in Italy before he married a Ukrainian woman, has jumped through fiery hoops to get hundreds of animals the help they required and thus he does not wish to just leave all of them.

“I don’t know, I’m staying here for my animals. It depends on what happens, but 400 animals is a huge number to transport anywhere, to bring them away, and to find a place for them. There are horses, cows, dogs, cats…a bit of everything. Also, the shelter cost a lot for me – it was a sacrifice, so it’s not easy to leave everything behind. At the moment I don’t know, I’m here,” he explained.

Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | NDTV