Slovak police said on Sunday that an 11-year-old Ukrainian boy had just crossed the border into Slovakia on his own with a plastic bag, his passport and a handwritten phone number.
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“He came from Zaporozhye alone because his parents had to stay in Ukraine,” police spokeswoman Denisa Bardiova told AFP. Volunteers took care of the boy who arrived on Saturday and provided him with food and drinks.
The Russian military has occupied Zaporozhye’s largest nuclear power plant in Europe since Friday, where, according to Ukrainians, attacks from its artillery caused the fire – which Moscow has denied was the cause.
The boy’s mother took him on a train to Slovakia to look after his disabled mother.
“I’m very grateful that my baby’s life was saved,” Yulia Pisetskaya said in a Facebook video post on Sunday. “In your small country, there are those who have big hearts.”
Police said on Facebook that the boy had won everyone’s hearts with his smile, courage and determination and deserved to be a true hero.
Local volunteers contacted the boy’s relatives in Slovakia, who took him to Bratislava.