More than a million civilians have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, many of whom have taken refuge in neighbouring countries. 

Amid Kremlin’s continued military assault on Ukraine, a 11-year-old travelled all the way to Slovakia from the city of Zaporizhzhia, where Russian forces captured a nuclear power facility last week.

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Amid Kremlin’s continued military assault on Ukraine, a 11-year-old travelled all the way to Slovakia from the city of Zaporizhzhia, where Russian forces captured a nuclear power facility last week.

The boy, with a backpack, his mother’s note and a telephone number written on his hand, travelled 1,000km to safety. His parents stayed back in Ukraine to care for their sick relative, The Independent reported. 

A statement by Slovakia’s Interior Ministry said he came with a plastic bag, passport and a telephone number written on his hand, all alone. It added that the boy won the hearts of everyone at the border with his smile, and hailed him as “a true hero.”

He was looked after by volunteers before being transported to a warm shelter. 

The boy’s mother had reportedly sent him on the journey to Slovakia by train to find his relatives.   

Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered into its 12th day. Russian troops are bombarding major cities in Ukraine, and while they have faced setbacks on the battlefield — Kremlin seems undeterred from its campaign to take Ukraine.

The toll of this conflict is growing. The UN has said that, as of March 6, more than 350 civilians have been confirmed killed and hundreds more have been wounded; Ukraine’s emergency services puts the civilian death toll at 2,000 people as of March 2. 

Ukrainian officials have said about 11,000 Russian troops have been killed in the fighting, as of March 6, but American and European estimates of Russian casualties have been substantially lower. The Russian government has reported nearly 500 soldier deaths.