An emotional video shows a young boy fleeing the war in Ukraine and telling his rescuers how he left his father behind in Kyiv to fight the Russian invasion.
In the video, posted on YouTube by ABC News, a young boy rides in a vehicle toward safety after walking for hours with his family.
“We left our Dad in Kyiv,” the young boy says calmly as he wipes away tears, according to an ABC News translation. “Dad will be selling things and helping our heroes, our army, he might even fight.”
“We have been walking around for three hours, and you saved us,” he adds. “I thought we would be walking for two or three days. I thought we would be walking all day, but you helped us out.”
Elsewhere in Ukraine, civilians have been forced into underground shelters as Russia continues hammering the nation with airstrikes.
In a MarketWatch op-ed published Wednesday, Ukrainian Olya Gvozdyova, writing from an underground bunker in Kyiv, urged Russian citizens to stand up against their dictators because “freedom is not given; it’s taken.”
“I am writing this from an underground shelter where I and 20 other people are staying for the night. Since the start of the invasion, the nights have been especially dangerous, and, if people have an opportunity, they sleep in underground shelters. Some sleep in metro stations as they, too, serve as bomb shelters,” she said. “There have been attacks on residential areas in different cities around Ukraine. In Kyiv, several apartment buildings were damaged. In Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts — in the north of the country — kindergartens were attacked.”
“And now members of this strong community are fighting for their life. I don’t know what will be next. But I am sure that we won’t give up fighting for our country, for its independence and freedom,” she continued. “And I have something to say to the Russian people: You should fight against your own dictators. Freedom is not given; it’s taken.”
The Ukrainian woman’s letter comes one day after a convoy of hundreds of Russian tanks and other military vehicles stretching 40 miles long closed in on Kyiv. As Russia entered its sixth day of attacks, a determined Ukrainian resistance continued to block Russian troops from advancing, though it’s unclear if that resistance can continue against the increasing Russian forces.
Earlier this week, a five-hour talk between Ukraine and Russia concluded without any agreement to stop fighting. The two nations did agree to another meeting later this week, but Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would not make concessions “when one side is hitting another with rocket artillery.”