A 13-year-old boy was saved as he prepared to jump off a block of flats to 'win' a controversial online suicide game which is being blamed for a surge in young deaths.
The teenager, whose name has not been revealed, was spotted sitting on the roof of the high-rise building, with his legs dangling over the edge in the city of Lviv in north-western Ukraine's Lviv Oblast region.
He was playing the controversial Blue Whale suicide game which is said to have started as a social media trend in Russia before spreading to Ukraine and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
As the game's evil influence spreads, police in countries including the UK, France and Belgium have issued warnings to parents to make sure their children are not involved.
The Ukrainian youngster had been posting every step of his moves online as part of the game which challenges players with a series of increasingly dangerous missions, culminating in their suicide.
He was about to jump from the roof of the building, to a certain death, when eyewitnesses who had spotted him on the roof reached him and pulled him back from the edge.
Other missions set for players of the Blue Whale game include self-harming, by cutting skin and even veins, and climbing dangerous structures such as cranes and bridges.
To win the game, and be classed as a 'real whale', players must notch up 50 points by completing the challenges and watching and listening to certain videos and pieces of music.
The final stage of the sick quest requires a suicide either by jumping from the roof of a high building or by hanging oneself from a rope.
Netizen ‘Vladimir’ said: "Police should really look for the people behind this. They should be penalised."
And ‘Klient’ added: "Who knows what will happen to this kid in a few years? It is quite likely that he will join some radical group."
Estimates of the number of suicides triggered by the game range from a handful to more than 130.
Russian authorities last year arrested Filip Budeikin, 21, who they claimed created the game and who faces charges of driving at least 15 teenagers to commit suicide.
Budeikin reportedly claimed the real number was higher and said: "They died happy. I gave them that which they did not have in their real life: warmth, understanding, connection."