A Ukrainian boy who was shot at point-blank range during Russia’s invasion of his country has miraculously lived.
The 16-year-old civilian victim, who has not been named, took a bullet to the back of his neck from a Soviet-issued pistol just six inches away.
The failed execution-style shooting saw the 9mm bullet penetrate his neck, graze the tip of his spine and get lodged in his upper jaw.
The teenager was taken to a hospital in the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia and, amazingly, made a full recovery.
An X-ray of the head and neck showed the bullet had lodged in the skull of the 16-year-old Ukrainian boy
The bullet doctors removed measured 9mm x 18 mm
His tale was revealed in the American Journal of Case Reports by doctors at the National Pirogov Memorial Medical University.
The boy’s face was lopsided due to the left side of his face and neck swelling up and he could not open his mouth fully, nor lift his left arm, due to the damage to his spinal cord.
From looking at his 6mm gunshot wound, doctors estimated he had been shot from around 15cm by a Makarov handgun.
The report did not explicitly say a Russian soldier fired the gun, but throughout the war there have been reports of Russian army men carrying out execution-style killings on civilians, including children.
The Ukrainian boy was X-rayed and given a neck brace for support to ensure his head and neck was kept in place.
During surgery, doctors made an incision by the lower part of his jaw, dissected soft tissue in the area and removed the bullet shell from his skull.
They then treated the site with an antiseptic solution and drained the wound and stitched it up.
The boy was discharged from the hospital nine days post-surgery.
He was recommended to continue ‘sanatorium-restorative treatment according to the individual rehabilitation plan’.
The boy was treated at the National Pirogov Memorial Medical University hospital in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine
From looking at the teenager’s injuries, doctors estimated he had been shot from around 15cm by a Makarov handgun
The main principles of the sanatorium regime are fresh air, exercise and good nutrition.
He also had postoperative physical therapy.
According to Ukraine’s leading war crimes prosecutor, more than 100,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed during the Russian invasion.
That is ten times more than the current official death toll of 8,000.
The siege of port city Mariupol alone was thought to have caused more than 10,000 Ukrainian civilian deaths.
Meanwhile, Russian casualties are estimated at 200,000.
Last week, a furious Vladimir Putin condemned the International Criminal Court’s ‘outrageous’ decision to issue an arrest warrant for him over war crimes in Ukraine.
The ICC called for Putin’s arrest and accused the despot of committing war crimes by abducting Ukrainian children from their homes and deporting them to Russia to be given to Russian families.
It also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s ‘Children’s Rights Commissioner’, on the same charges.
The Kremlin slammed the court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin ‘outrageous and unacceptable’; in contrast, Ukraine hailed the decision and said ‘the wheels of justice are turning’.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan said hundreds of Ukrainian children have been taken from orphanages and children’s homes to Russia.
He said: ‘Many of these children, we allege, have since been given up for adoption in the Russian Federation.’
United Nations data showed that more than 7,199 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and 11,756 have been injured since Russia’s invasion.
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