One of many Ukrainians who fled their home as Russia attacks: an 11-year-old boy who made a heroic journey to Slovakia – alone.
According to a Facebook post from the Slovak Embassy in the U.K., the boy crossed the Slovakian border with just a plastic bag, a passport and a phone number written on his hand.
Volunteers gave him food, water and warmth to prepare him for his next journey.
“He conquered everyone with his smile, fearlessness and determination of a real hero,” a Slovak Interior Ministry representative said, according to the Facebook post.
Officials were able to contact his mother from the phone number written on his hand. In a video posted on Facebook, she thanked everyone for her son’s safety.
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“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,” Yulia Pisetskaya said, according to the Facebook post.
The boy came from Zaporizhia, a city in southeastern Ukraine, more than 600 miles from the Slovakian border.
Roman Mikulec, Slovakia’s interior minister, called the boy “Little Hassan” on his Facebook page and said the boy was courageous and fearless.
“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 wrote.
According to the United Nations, 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine as of Tuesday after Russian forces invaded the country late last month. It’s the fastest exodus Europe has seen since World War II.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: email@example.com.