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Boy, 4, rescued from life of horrors after wandering streets scavenging for food

A four-year-old boy who lived on the ruins of an abandoned hostel has been rescued by police.

The youngster was spotted scavenging for food in rubbish bins and playing with syringes.

He had frequently been seen been wandering along in dirty clothes.

Some nearby residents in the city of Zaporizhia in southeastern Ukraine tried to ask him where were his parents but 'Vsevolod' could not reply because of poorly developed speech.

Eventually, a woman who saw the little boy and his parents entering the ruins several times reported them to the police.

Officers arrived on the scene and found the squatters on the third floor of the abandoned building.

Patrol police officer Kateryna Shevchenko said to local media: “The child was kept in appalling conditions.

“His parents collected food and things from dumpsters and stored everything in their room. There was a horrible stench in there.

“They occupied one of the rooms in the ruined building. When we entered it, we saw the drunk parents and the boy sitting on a filthy mattress.

“The child was playing with dirty toys, syringes and cigarette ends.”

Shocked police officers took Vsevolod to hospital where he was diagnosed with cold, lice and malnutrition.

Head of Children’s Hospital #1, Irina Kozhevnikova, said: “The boy suffers from several diseases including neglected viral infection and skin diseases.

“He is receiving all necessary medical help and his life is not in danger now.”

Medical staff say the child saw the crayons and colouring books for the first time when being given everything in the hospital.

Police launched an investigation on leaving in danger and failure to fulfil parental duties against Vsevolod’s parents.

Reports say the pair moved in the ruined building three months ago hoping to hide in there from social services.

Natalia Sivoraksha from a local child protection services said: “The unemployed parents made a living by receiving child benefits. They spent the money on drugs and alcohol.

“Social services were going to take the child from them but they fled their rented flat and disappeared.

“Now they have been found in the abandoned hostel.”

Local social services are going to sue the parents and deprive them of parental rights.

After recovering, Vsevolod will be placed in an orphanage until the court has made a decision.

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