Heartbreaking images show mothers and fathers are writing numbers on their kids’ clothes and backs so they can be rescued if they become orphaned during the conflict.
Ukrainian journalist Anastasiia Lapatina shared one such photo on Twitter, adding: ‘Ukrainian mothers are writing their family contacts on the bodies of their children in case they get killed and the child survives. And Europe is still discussing gas.’
The photo showed a little girl called Vira with her date of birth written in pen on her back alongside several numbers.
Vira’s mother, Sasha Makoviy, explained on Instagram that she did this ‘in case something happens, someone would welcome her as a survivor’.
She went on to say that she signed her daughter’s back on the day that Russia invaded ‘with my hands trembling very much’.
She added: ‘Even a crazy thought flashed through my mind. why didn’t I tattoo her with this information?’
The mother said that although she was currently safe, ‘I still can’t bring myself to put this scrambled paper in the second photo out of my overalls pocket.’
Many parents reacted to the photo with similar heartbreaking stories of the steps they had taken to protect their children.
One person said: ‘On the first day of the war I did the same for my 3-year-old son. And although we are now with him in England, the paper is always with him.’
Another said: ‘I also wrote, wrote and cried for my son (2.5 years old).’
Others said they had stitched paper with emergency contact details into their child’s clothes or created bracelets with contact numbers on them.
On Twitter, one Ukrainian father shared an image of his little girl’s t-shirt with numbers on, writing: ‘My 5 years old daughter wearing this t-shirt while Europe thinking about Russian oil, gas and money.’