Mar 8, 2022 - World

11-year-old Ukrainian boy fled 700 miles to Slovakia alone

Citizens wait for evacuation trains, Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine on March 7, 2022.
Citizens wait for evacuation trains in Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine on March 7. Photo: Dmytro Smoliyenko/Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An 11-year-old Ukrainian boy traveled to Slovakia with only a bag, passport and phone number, according to Slovakia's Interior Ministry.

Why it matters: This underscores the hardships Ukrainians are facing as more than 2 million people have now become refugees as a result of the war, according to statistics from the United Nations.

Details: The boy's 700-mile journey started in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, and ended when he crossed the border into Slovakia on Friday night, according to the Huffington Post.

  • He had a phone number written on his hand, and when he crossed the border on Friday night, Slovakian officials were able to contact his family.
  • He has since been reunited and asked for temporary protection, according to another post by Slovakia's Interior Minister Roman Mikulec.

What they're saying: "I assure all those who flee from Ukraine before the war conflict, that here in Slovakia we are ready to help," Mikulec wrote in a post.

  • "You will find security with us and if you ask for temporary protection, you will be provided with health care, social security, food, accommodation, education and job opportunities," he added.
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