7-year-old boy is now left motherless and with burns on half his body after missile strike in Ukraine

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Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of war injuries that may be distressing to readers.

A young seven-year-old boy lost his mother when a Russian missile struck the both of them in the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia. The boy, identified as Roman, was severely injured in the attack and now has burns on nearly half of his body. The boy’s mother died in the explosion and was identified days later only through a DNA test as Galyna Oleksiv. She was one of at least 23 people killed in the July 14 attack, reports CBS News.

Roman’s father spoke with Current Time explaining that his son survived the attack as “the explosion threw his body” which “ended up saving him,” Yaroslav Oleksiv also said that his son was “picked up right away and an ambulance arrived immediately.” The child was conscious at the time following the brutal blast and was able to say his name to the people who arrived to help him. He also managed to tell them that he was with his mother when the missile struck and that she was buried underneath the rubble, according to Yaroslav.

Describing the gruesome scene Yaroslav added, “All the bodies they found from this shock wave, they were all badly burned…many had their limbs ripped off. None of the bodies remained fully intact,” he continued. “The doctors said they found some fabric with some writing on it. We knew that [Roman’s mother] had a T-shirt like that. … Plus, she had braces, and we could [identify her] by the braces.” Roman’s father confirmed that Galyna was declared dead after a DNA test.

As for little Roman, he is seeking substantial medical treatment for his burns in Germany after first being treated in a hospital in Lviv. The Medical Association of Lviv stated that roughly 45 percent of the child’s body is covered in external burns and that another 35 percent of his body is burned internally. According to PEOPLE, the child’s body is wrapped from the belly button all the way down with gauze and medical supply. His arms and his head are also entirely wrapped aside from gaps for his eyes, nose and mouth. “[The burns] are so deep in places that they even reach bones,” the association said via Facebook. “Burn face, upper and lower limbs, airway … a closed fracture of his left hand and several shell fractures in his skull.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy called the July 14 missile strike “an open act of terrorism” against civilians. According to CBS News, he wrote on the Telegram messaging app, “Every day Russia is destroying the civilian population, killing Ukrainian children, directing missiles at civilian objects. Where there is no military (targets). What is it if not an open act of terrorism?”

Cover Image Source: YouTube | Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty