Heartbroken Ukrainian mother finds body of her four-year-old son 26 days after he went missing when boat fleeing Russian bombs overturned on reservoir, killing his grandmother

  • Sasha Zdanovych, four, was fleeing Russian forces with his grandmother Zoya
  • Their boat capsized from gunfire and Zoya was killed and Sasha disappeared
  • His mother Anna Yakhno, 25, revealed his body has now been recovered

A heartbroken Ukrainian mother has found the body of her four-year-old son 26 days after he went missing in a terrifying boat escape from Russian missiles and bombs. 

Sasha Zdanovych was fleeing Putin‘s forces on a vessel across a reservoir on the River Dnieper near Kyiv with his grandmother Zoya, 60.  

They were wearing lifejackets when the boat capsized from suspected Russian gunfire, and Zoya was killed and her body recovered soon afterwards.  

A heartbroken Ukrainian mother has found the body of her four-year-old son 26 days after he went missing (pictured together)

Sasha Zdanovych

Sasha Zdanovych

Sasha Zdanovych (pictured) was fleeing Putin’s forces on a vessel across a reservoir on the River Dnieper near Kyiv with his grandmother Zoya, 60

The four-year-old and his grandmother were on a boat on a reservoir (pictured) trying to flee Russian forces last month

The four-year-old and his grandmother were on a boat on a reservoir (pictured) trying to flee Russian forces last month 

Sasha’s mother, Anna Yakhno, 25, had hoped her only child had somehow escaped and been carried to safety by other fleeing Ukrainians.

But she has now revealed his body has been recovered after their desperate search. 

She said: ‘Today we found Sashenka’s [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 little boy has come to meet me. Sashenka, our little angel is already in Heaven! Today his soul has found peace.’

Earlier she said she was hoping for a ‘miracle’ after hearing possible sightings of her only child with refugees who fled to Romania but they proved mistaken.

Sasha's mother, Anna Yakhno (pictured), 25, had hoped her only child had somehow escaped and been carried to safety by other fleeing Ukrainians

Sasha’s mother, Anna Yakhno (pictured), 25, had hoped her only child had somehow escaped and been carried to safety by other fleeing Ukrainians

Earlier she said she was hoping for a 'miracle' after hearing possible sightings of her only child

Earlier she said she was hoping for a 'miracle' after hearing possible sightings of her only child

Earlier she said she was hoping for a ‘miracle’ after hearing possible sightings of her only child

Anna said: 'Sashenka, our little angel is already in Heaven! Today his soul has found peace'

Anna said: ‘Sashenka, our little angel is already in Heaven! Today his soul has found peace’

She also hoped a villager had taken him to their house to hide from the carnage unleashed by Putin’s invaders.

‘We believe in a miracle and wait for any useful information,’ said Anna six days after he went missing.

Until the Russian withdrawal, it had been difficult to search the area where he went missing after eight people had fled in a small boat.

During the search she ‘barely slept’ and was ‘totally shattered’.

Earlier she had said: ‘My little son – our only child – was staying with his beloved grandmother Zoya, 60, when the war began.

She also hoped a villager had taken him to their house to hide from the carnage unleashed by Putin's invaders

She also hoped a villager had taken him to their house to hide from the carnage unleashed by Putin’s invaders

Until the Russian withdrawal, it had been difficult to search the area where he went missing after eight people had fled in a small boat

Until the Russian withdrawal, it had been difficult to search the area where he went missing after eight people had fled in a small boat

Until the Russian withdrawal, it had been difficult to search the area where he went missing after eight people had fled in a small boat

‘They were in a small village with only two shops and two days after the start of the invasion all the food was gone.

‘The longer they stayed there, the worse it got with supplies and electricity.

‘The three last days before they decided to escape by boats there was no electricity .

‘We were trying to get to them several times, or to get them out by road, but each time we had to turn cars back because of shelling.’

She said: ‘Trying to escape from occupation, they ventured across Kyiv reservoir [on the Dnieper, also known as the Kyiv Sea] taking two dogs.

‘Connection with them was lost.

‘Sasha’s granny was found dead on [March] 11, we could not collect her body, and asked locals to bury her.’

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