11-Year-Old Ukrainian Boy Travels 600 Miles To Slovakia Alone With Relative’s Phone Number Written On His Hand

His single mother was forced to stay behind.

Ukrainian boy and information written on his hand Twitter

Civilians always pay the highest price in war, a reality the people of Ukraine know all too well.

Images of families fleeing conflict in Ukraine as Russia invades have flooded the internet. A hundreds of thousands of people seek refuge in neighboring European countries, there are many tragic but, unfortunately, not unique stories of families being ripped apart.

One such story is that of a young boy who was forced to make the journey out of Ukraine alone as his parents stayed behind.


One 11-year-old Ukrainian boy traveled 1000KM alone from Ukraine to Slovakia.

While the boy's home country is torn apart by war, his single mother was forced to send him to Slovakia alone.

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Yulia Pisetskaya is a mother and widow and is also responsible for taking care of her own mother. 

With the war threatening every Ukrainian’s safety, Pisetskaya made an unimaginable choice.

Pisetskaya wrote her information on her child’s hand and put him on a train to Slovakia.

Equipped with a backpack, plastic bag, passport, a phone number written on his hand, and a few other supplies, the boy was off on his own to make it to Slovakia.


Thankfully, the 11-year-old arrived in Slovakia successfully and without issue.

The boy immediately charmed the Slovakian officials and volunteers.

Slovakian border officers and volunteers hailed the boy as “hero of the night” and many wished to help him.

Slovakian authorities announced that they had received the child, saying, “He came all alone because his parents had to stay in Ukraine. Volunteers took care of him, took him to a warm place and gave him food and drink.”

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In the statement, Slovakian authorities praised the boy, saying, “He won over everyone with his smile, fearlessness and determination worthy of a real hero.”


Using the information written on the boy’s hand and folded in his passport, he has reportedly been reunited with family in Slovakia.

The story of this boy is, tragically, not likely to be an isolated incident and many children separated from their parents during this conflict will never see them again.

It is only through the kindness and acceptance of refugees by neighbouring countries that those fleeing the conflict can truly be safe.

Every day new stories emerge of Russian rockets and artillery striking civilian targets, killing innocents. Every day, more will be forced to flee before Putin’s indiscriminate war machine.


If you want to help the people of Ukraine, please donate to United Help Ukraine who are providing donations, food and medical supplies to displaced Ukrainians.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.