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Family agony after boy, 5, 'ripped apart in Ukraine drone attack' igniting war fears as Russian troops mass on border

A FAMILY has been left heartbroken after a 5-year-old boy was "ripped apart in a Ukraine drone attack" as tensions mount while Russian troops mass on the border.

Five-year-old Vladik Shikhov was blown up in a drone attack says his family.

The boy's family claim Vladik died during a drone attack orchestrated by Kiev as tension in eastern Ukraine has been mounting.

Experts have warned that a world war could be triggered in just four weeks in Ukraine as Russian troops mass on the border.

A relative said after the five-year-old's funeral: "Our child just went outside. And the explosion happened."

"He was just torn apart," another woman said.

The death certificate – shown by the boy's father Sergey Shikhov- says Vladik (Vladislav) died "as a result of mine and explosive injuries, with the traumatic amputation of limbs".

The boy’s father told a journalist that when the explosion came the grandmother "was in the hallway near the door" following the boy into the yard.

"She was thrown back inside the house, she had a head injury, she was sent to intensive care."

Neighbours heard "the sound of a drone in the air" immediately before the boy died, said the father.

The child's grandmother Natalya Terentyeva, 56, who was with the boy when he died, wept: "Forgive me that I let you out at that very minute."

Meanwhile, Ukraine alleges pro-Moscow forces invented the drone attack as a pretext for a possible invasion, and that five-year-old Vladik Shikhov died when an old shell exploded.

Denis Kazansky a representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group on the crisis, claim pro-Moscow rebels had "invented another fake" with the drone attack claim.

"Instead of bombing a base with equipment or a command post, random people in a yard were targeted.

"And after dropping an explosive device on them (the drone) just as calmly flew back.

"Who can believe such nonsense? But then a real bacchanalia began in the Russian media.”

Vladik was "non-existent crucified boy" – and had been killed by a grenade or shell stored close to his home, said Kazansky.

Russia was using "this tragic incident to incite hatred and create another myth about the atrocities of the Ukrainians.

"For two days now, propagandists from the Russian Federation have been hysterical, cursing us in every way," he said.

After the funeral, grieving relatives also hit back at claims that the boy did not exist.

Human rights observer Tatyana Montyan told the Russian media: "Due to the large number of reports that the boy allegedly did not exist, I decided to go to the funeral and see with my own eyes.

"A funeral cannot be faked. It was an ordinary funeral, people who knew the boy, all his relatives, mother, father, grandmothers – all in terrible grief."

It comes as footage has revealed convoys of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles being mass transported in regions close to rebel-held eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea. 

During a call with Boris Johnson, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyin pleaded for a larger British and NATO troop presence in the region, plus further sanctions on Vladimir Putin.

He said he "calls on the United Kingdom and other member states of the alliance to strengthen its presence in the region and increase the pressure of sanctions on the Russian Federation.

Johnson said he had "significant concerns" over the Russian military buildup and "reaffirmed his unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Ukraine and Russia have remained technically at war since 2014.

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