Nine-year-old Ukrainian boy's heartbreaking drawing begging for help shows horror of war


Inna Sovsun, deputy leader of the Holos Party, has not seen her young son Martyn since the day before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The 37-year-old is in Kyiv, while her nine-year-old is in western Ukraine with his father.

Ms Sovsun shared a drawing by Martyn calling for a no-fly zone in the skies above Ukraine.

The colourful picture shows a sunny day in the city of Kharkiv – which has come under heavy bombardment – with buildings and trees alongside the words: “No fly zone!”

Ms Sovsun broke down in tears when her son asked her on the phone when he would see her again.

She said: “I didn’t talk to him the first four days of war just because I was so tense and I knew that if I talked to him I would start crying and I couldn’t do that because I had to do my job. So we were just texting each other.

“But then we talked and he said, ‘Mum when do I see you?’ and I couldn’t answer that I didn’t know when I will see him, so that is just scary.

“I was trying to explain to him over the phone what is happening, that the war is going on, that people are sitting in shelters because Russians are throwing bombs onto the heads of the children.

“He said, ‘Can we just cover them?’ and then I explained the whole concept of the no-fly zone to him. So that’s a nine-year-old boy talking to you.”

Boris Johnson and other Nato leaders continue to reject calls for a no-fly zone, arguing that it would mean shooting down Russian planes.

READ MORE: Ukraine President Zelensky tells MPs ‘we will not lose’

“That is clear as day and then Nato will have to get involved.

“So we’re just asking to get involved on our territory before the Russians kill millions of Ukrainians.

“We are willing to fight this fight. We are seeing this as a war of Putin against the whole of Western civilization and it does feel unfair that we are the only ones fighting it.

“But let it be so, we are willing to do whatever just to save our children.”

Ms Sovsun said Ukraine is “grateful” for the support from the West but added that it is “not enough”. 

She said: “Now many Ukrainians are saying why did we give up our nuclear weapon, if we had the nuclear weapon right now Putin wouldn’t be bombing our cities.

“But most of all they just feel scared and they just all this to end and to go back to our normal lives.

“I want to see my son, I want to see my boyfriend, I want to see my mum and dad. I can’t do that right now.”


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