A two-year-old Ukrainian girl who had disappeared from her home in the Kharkiv region (west) has been found safe and sound in a forest six kilometers away from her home, police officials said Saturday.

"We have found little Violet. He has spent three nights in the forest," Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the national police's investigations department in the Kharkiv region, wrote on his Facebook account. The girl, whom more than a thousand people have searched for four days, appeared "in a thick forest, among bushes, six kilometers from her home," he added.

"Every day we prayed that the girl would be found alive," Volodymyr Timoshko, chairman of the national police in Kharkiv, said in a separate post, saying police, rescuers and volunteers had combed "every bush and every pond" in search of her. "Violeta is alive and that is our joy," he concluded, along with a photo of the little girl drinking water from a cup in the arms of a soldier.

The girl left the courtyard of her house in the town of Skrypai, where she was playing with her twin brother, on March 23, apparently on her own foot, while her mother cooked inside the house.

Rescue services found the girl's footprints in the woods on Friday, but had warned that in the case of children between two and three years old the chances of being found alive are drastically reduced after a second day outdoors and without food.

  • Ukraine

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