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A Boy Crossed Ukraine Alone To Escape The Russians With Only A Phone Number On His Hand

Police in Slovakia called him a "hero."

Global Staff Writer
An 11-year-old refugee from Ukraine. Right: ​A number written on the boy's hand.

Image of the boy provided by the Slovakian police. Right: Image of the boy's hand provided by the Slovakian police.

An 11-year-old Ukrainian boy is inspiring many people online after he made an incredible solo trek out of his country to escape Russia's invasion.

The young boy fled Ukraine on his own and set off for Slovakia with nothing but a bag, a bottle of water, a passport and a telephone number written on his hand, according to the police who found him at the Slovak border this weekend.

Slovak police shared the news via a Facebook post and hailed him as "the greatest hero of last night" on March 5.

The emotional post said that the boy fled the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia and came to Slovakia to seek refuge from the war. That's a journey of more than 1,000 kilometres, although it's unclear how much of the journey he walked.

Unfortunately, his mom had to stay back in Ukraine, so she made the most difficult decision a parent could make and sent her son off on his own.

Volunteers on the Slovak side of the border took care of the young boy and "provided him with food and drinks, which they packed for him on his next journey," according to Facebook's translation of the post.

Police described the unidentified boy as a "true hero" and praised him for his "smile, fearlessness and determination."

Slovak authorities called the phone number on the boy's hand and were able to get in touch with his relatives, who later came down to fetch him.

"The whole story ended well," they wrote.

The boy's mother later sent a video thanking all the volunteers and Slovak authorities who helped the young boy safely reach his family.

The mother, Pisecka Júlia Volodymyrivna, said she couldn't accompany her son because she's a widow who couldn't leave behind her immobile mother, reports Storyful via Yahoo News.

In a March 7 news release, the U.N. said that more than 1.7 million Ukrainians had fled the country since the war began on February 24.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has described it as the worst refugee crisis that Europe has seen since World War II.

According to UNHCR, over a million people have fled to Poland, which has received the majority of the refugees.

Other countries that have taken in refugees include Hungary, Moldova and Romania.

Almost 130,000 have fled to Slovakia.

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