Ukrainian refugee boy

Over 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of the Russian invasion. However, one 11-year-old Ukrainian refugee boy has traveled 600 miles alone to Slovakia.

How the Ukrainian refugee boy made it to Slovakia on his own

Hassan had only a plastic bag, his passport, and a phone number scrawled on his hand when he hurriedly left his hometown of Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. 

Hassan was forced to leave the city last Friday when Russian projectiles were launched at Zaporizhzhia. This caused there to be a massive evacuation from the city when one of these missiles set a nuclear power plant in the city on fire. I would like to note that Zaporizhzhia was thankfully able to avoid nuclear catastrophe. 

Unfortunately, his mother, Yulia Pisetkaya, could not join her son in leaving the city. She felt obligated to stay behind to care for her own disabled mother. 

The 11-year-old Ukrainian refugee boy had to make the 600-mile journey to Slovakia on his own. Incredibly, he made it there safely, and customs officials and volunteers welcomed him when he arrived.

They used the phone number his mother had written on his hand to contact his relatives in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. 

“I am very grateful that they saved the life of my child. In your small country, there are people with big hearts,” his mother said when slovakian officials informed her of his safety. 

Defining courage

Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. Courage means doing something despite the fact you are.

Hassan’s story reminds us that bravery is not limited by your age. Bravery is fueled by your determination to do whatever it takes. 

Even though some predict that this invasion of Ukraine is set to be the worst humanitarian crisis of the century, the stories of heroes of all ages keep me hopeful. 

In a statement posted on Facebook, the Slovakian Interior Ministry said about the Ukrainian refugee boy:

“He won everybody’s hearts with his smile, fearlessness, and determination, worthy of a real hero.”

And he’s won mine too. 

H/T: The Guardian

Featured image source: Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic Official Facebook Page


  1. In 1956 the USSR invaded Hungary in one night and in 1968, with the support of “fraternal” countries, invaded Czechoslovakia in just two days, which was otherwise called “Operation Danube”. In both cases, the USSR killed the normal course of attempts at real democratization in these two countries after the death of “Daddy” Stalin in 1953.
    In 1992, the USSR fell apart, and Russia, increasingly politically isolated, tried in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, the same method of invading territories to sow horror, maintain puppet governments that serve their imperialist and anti-democratic purposes.
    Now they are using puppet countries against Ukraine using the Imperial receipt “Kill one country at a time and use it against the other sisters”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here