FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Young Ukrainian Boy Crossing The Border Into Slovakia By Himself?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a young Ukrainian boy crossing the border into Slovakia by himself.

Verdict: False

The boy was not alone, nor was he travelling into Slovakia. The Polish Border Guard confirmed the boy was travelling with his family to Poland.

Fact Check:

More than 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Poland has accepted the vast majority of these refugees, taking in over 2.3 million people, the UNHCR reports.

A video shared on Facebook, which has garnered over 35,000 views, appears to show a young boy walking alone and crying. “Parents of this 11 year old boy sent him alone from Ukraine to Slovakia due to the war,” the video’s caption claims. “He had a phone number on his relatives written on his hand by pen, he made it safely. Eurolanche forces and volunteers came to his aide.”

The boy in the video was not abandoned by his family, nor was he travelling to Slovakia, however. The CNN news chyron visible in the video clearly states, “Ukrainian Refugees Walking Across Border Into Poland.”

The Twitter account of the Polish Border Guard addressed the video in a March 8 tweet, explaining the boy was crossing over into Poland with his family. The tweet includes what appears to be a screen grab of security footage showing the boy with another child and two adults.

“#StopFakeNews,” reads a translated version of the Polish tweet. “We would like to inform you that, contrary to the unfortunately disseminated information in the media, 4-year-old Valerij z did not cross the border alone, he was with his family. At the border crossing #PSGMedyka he received sweet gifts from the officers. He and his family are safe in Poland.”

The same day, Turkish news outlet TRT World tweeted the video of the young boy with the caption, “A Ukrainian boy is seen crying as he walks behind his mother at the border crossing to Medyka, Poland.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Child Who Was Injured During The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine?)

On Mar. 5, an 11-year-old Ukrainian boy travelled over 600 miles by himself to Slovakia, according to a translated Facebook post shared by Slovakia’s Interior Ministry. There is no indication this boy is the same one visible in the Facebook video.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter