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WATCH: Luka Modric facetimes 6-year-old Ukrainian boy who lost both parents in Russian invasion

A 6-year-old boy named Illia Kostushevych lost both his parents to the continued shelling of his home city of Mariupol.

Abhishek Sandikar Author

Updated - 4 July 2022 4:01 pm

Luka Modric

Amidst the continued Russian invasion in Ukraine, a 6-year-old boy named Illia Kostushevych lost both his parents to the continued shelling of his home city of Mariupol in the east of the country. Illia is a Shakhtar Donetsk fan and was recently surprised by former Shakhtar player and the team’s current director of football Darijo Srna.

The Croatian international gifted Illia with a special phone call with his former national teammate and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric. At first, the young boy was a little shy, but later he was happy with the talk. Luka Modric could be one of the few people who could comprehend what Illia Kostushevych is going through as he has also experienced war in his home country as a child.


Talking about that experience in an interview with the Guardian, Luka Modric said, “At that age, you just don’t realise why are these things happening, you know? You are not aware of everything happening around you because [your] father is also trying to protect you, to not think about these things. They saw that something was coming. 

He then talked about losing his grandfather in the armed conflict in the Balkans in 1991. “Even though I am still little, I have experienced a lot of fear in my life,” he wrote then. “The fear of shelling is something I am slowly putting behind me.”

“The chetniks killed my grandfather. I loved him so much. Everyone cried … I used to ask if those people who did this and who made us run away from our home can even be called people.”

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