This is the heartwarming moment a six-year-old Ukrainian girl who lost her leg to a Russian missile strike learns to ride a bike again with the help of her prosthetic leg she named Kesha.
The girl, the first Ukrainian child to be fitted with a prosthetic since the Russian invasion, manages to complete the course solo under the watchful eye of physiotherapists at The Kyiv Institute of Rehabilitation.
Her mother Nataliia was also injured in the missile strike and was separated from Marinya and taken to different hospitals in Kryvyi Rih to be treated.
Sharing the footage on Sunday, the Ukrainian force said: “Marinya is Ukraine’s first child to be fitted with a pediatric prosthesis.
“In May 2022, a Russian missile struck the house in which she lived with her parents in the Kherson region. The child’s leg was amputated above the knee at a hospital in Kryvyi Rih.
“Today, 6-year-old Marina is already learning how to ride a bicycle.”
During her long road to recovery, Marinya’s Aunt Liubov took care of her, according to doctors.
“There was a separation between mother and daughter, and the girl became more bonded to her aunt. It was like a barrier protection because the child could not use the bathroom, move, or dress on her own,” her psychologist Tetiana Pidkova explained to Pravda.
“Maryna has post-traumatic stress disorder. This trauma is caused, not by the war, but by the loss of a limb.”
After reuniting with her mother, her behaviour regressed as she was retruamatised by her family’s pain and initially refused to work with the prosthetic leg.
“We decided to name the prosthesis Kesha, and to teach her to be friends with it,” the psychologist added.
Kherson was the first major city, and the only regional capital, to be captured by Russian forces during the invasion last year. But bombs still affect the region with at least one person killed in the Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian city on Friday.
The governor, Oleksandr Prokudin, said on the Telegram messaging app that a 25-year-old man had been killed and another person wounded when residential districts came under fire in the city, which is close to the front line.
The shelling caused fires in a house and a garage, he said.