Onlookers Shocked After Discovering 11-year-old Ukrainian Boy Made It to Safety Alone


 By Amanda Thomason  March 11, 2022 at 2:36pm

As more stories of bravery come out of Ukraine, one story in particular has warmed hearts and proved that kids can be courageous in the face of war.

Traveling alone by train from Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, an 11-year-old boy made his way over 600 miles armed with only a passport, a backpack, a plastic bag and a telephone number scrawled across his hand, according to the New York Post.

His destination was Slovakia, where he has extended family. He made it there safely through determination and grit and has been hailed as a hero.

On March 5, Slovakian authorities said the boy — named Hassan — was “the biggest hero of last night,” according to a Facebook post by the Ministry of the Interior of the SR.

“He came all alone because his parents had to stay in Ukraine (to take care of an ill relative),” according to the post, via CNN. “Volunteers took care of him, took him to a warm place and gave him food and drink.”

Authorities used the number written on his hand to contact his relatives, and they were able to meet up with the boy.

“Little Hassan is only 11 years old, but in his way he has shown huge determination, courage and fearlessness that sometimes adults don’t have,” reads a translation of a post by Roman Mikulec, the Minister of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, on Facebook.

“I am really very sorry for him and all the other children and their families who have to flee their country because of what is happening in Ukraine. Together with his siblings, he already asked for temporary protection.

“I assure all those who flee from Ukraine before the war conflict, that here in Slovakia we are ready to help.”

The boy’s mother circulated a video on social media thanking those who assisted her son. She explained that she is a widow and had to stay behind to care for her sick mother, according to CBS News.

“I am very grateful that they saved the life of my child,” Yulia Pisetskaya said in the video, according to CBS.

“In your small country, there are people with big hearts … Please save our Ukrainian children and give them a safe haven.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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