Ukrainian boy who went missing while fleeing Russian forces ‘died of gunshot wound’

Sasha Zdanovych had been missing since 10 March when he tried to cross the River Dnieper, near Kyiv, with his grandmother

A four-year-old boy who went missing after fleeing conflict in Ukraine has been found dead, his devastated mother has revealed.

Ukrainian officials say Sasha Zdanovych died of a gunshot wound.

He had been with his grandmother when they tried to get away from advancing Russian forces in mid March.

Sasha Zdanovych was missing after fleeing conflict in Ukraine but has now been found dead.

Mum had made a plea for help to find her son

They crossed the River Dnieper near Kyiv. There were two boats which left, one of which capsized.

Sasha was known to be wearing a lifejacket at the time.

The body of Sasha’s grandmother and another woman was found the following day on 11 March.

Sasha’s mum Anna Yakhno, 25, had made a desperate plea for help to find her son and had hoped he may be sheltering with others in a remote village.

‘Today his soul found peace’

However, she has now shared a heartbreaking update about her little boy saying he had been found dead.

Posting on Instagram and Facebook along with a poignant picture of her son she said: “Today we found Sasha’s body.

“I thank everyone who believed, who helped in the search, I thank everyone for your prayers and faith, I thank you for your support.

“Thanks to you, my son met me.

“Sasha, our little angel is already in heaven!

“Today his soul found peace..”

‘We will never forget. We will never forgive’

The Ukrainian Parliament also shared the news of Sasha’s death on its Twitter account, calling him a “little angel” .

“Sasha, who the whole of #Ukraine was looking for, had been shot dead by the occupiers. The parents have been looking for the little boy since March 10.

“It was then that the child and his grandmother on a boat tried to evacuate from the village in the #Kyiv region. The attempt was unsuccessful. And the parents believed that their child was still alive. The boy’s body was found, he had died of a gunshot wound.

“RIP, little angel. Our deepest condolences to the family. We will never forget. We will never forgive.”

It comes after Ukraine announced the Kyiv region had been liberated from Russian forces.

Ukrainian officials said the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been found in towns around the capital city that was recaptured from Russian forces.

Videos and images of bodies have unleashed a wave of indignation among western allies, who have drawn up new sanctions as a response.

Mass graves were found in the town of Bucha and President Zelensky said during a televised address that he believed at least 300 civilians in the town had been killed by Russian forces.

Support people fleeing the devastating conflict in Ukraine: donate to the DEC appeal

Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance. Learn more and donate what you can today