“Chess is all his life, and now it’s all my life,” said Maksym’s mother, Iryna Kryshtafor.
He misses his grandparents, who lived with them in the Ukrainian city of Odesa and who stayed behind.
Ms. Kryshtafor is estranged from Maksym’s father, who has not been a part of the boy’s life.
When the war broke out in February, Ms. Kryshtafor, 45, had scrambled to throw her and Maksym’s most essential belongings into a rucksack as they fled for the border.
Countless mothers across Ukraine were focused on how to save their children while maintaining a sense of stability, and Ms. Kryshtafor was no different.
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Britain, Ukrainian, Odesa, Ukraine