Ukraine war: Boy of 11 flees to safety in Slovakia by himself
Hassan, 11, left his home in Zaporizhzhia because his mother could not leave her elderly mother.
She put him on a train and when he finally got to the border he was helped across by customs officers.
Officials said he was a true hero and had won over everyone with his smile.
The boy arrived at the border carrying a plastic bag, a small red backpack and his passport. He was taken in by volunteers who gave him food and a drink while border officials got in touch with relatives in the Slovak capital Bratislava.
His mother, in a video posted by Slovak police, thanked everyone for taking care of her son and explained why he had travelled across the country when it was in the grip of a Russian invasion.
“Next to my town is a power plant that the Russians are shelling. I couldn’t leave my mum – she can’t move by herself – so I sent my son to Slovakia,” said Julia Pisecka, who is a widow.
The nuclear power station at Zaporizhzhia is the biggest in Europe. It was seized by Russia’s military over the weekend after an attack that President Volodymyr Zelensky warned could have caused destruction on a scale far bigger than the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
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