This is a hat of 13-year-old Yelysei who was shot dead by Russians while trying to escape from occupied village in Kyiv region with his mother and 3-year-old brother
Yelysei’s white T-shirt together with the hat is covered in holes. The boy was wearing it over his jacket for the Russian army to see that he and his family were peaceful citizens while escaping with his mother from the occupied village. Story of Yelysei was told by Ukrainian journalist Tetiana Nackonechna.
First, Yelysei and his close ones walked and then drove in a column of five cars. The Russians saw that they were peaceful people: women and children. They were released at first. And then Russians shot the column. Seven people died. Among them was Yelysei. He was found dead lying in the back seat.
Mother Inna buried her son twice. First in the garden, near the house in Peremoha village, where they were hiding from missiles and shells. She buried him without a priest, without a coffin. Yelysei’s father fought at the frontline back that day. Russians did not even allow the boy’s body to be taken to the cemetery.
Yelysei was reburied in the new cemetery in Brovary. In a closed coffin. His father never saw the body. Inna wanted him to remember his child alive. The father of Yelysei was allowed to come for the funeral from the frontline. He will soon return to defend Ukraine.