A group of Ukrainian school leavers have actually marked their graduation by positioning in ballgowns and tuxedos in their destroyed class.
The end of the academic year would typically be a delighted event, marking the last days of lessons and the start of the summer season vacations.
Traditionally students finishing from Ukrainian schools dance a waltz in front of their peers as the school bell sounds out for the last time.
But for students throughout Ukraine, the last academic year has actually been one like no other.
Many have actually seen their lessons interfered with and schools lowered to debris by Russian forces.
However, trainees finishing from School No 134 in Kharkiv, were determined to mark the occasion.
Pupils gathered to dance their last waltz, and pose for photographs amid the rubble of their school.
Olena Mosolova, a geography teacher from the school said: ‘We had imagined a different “last bell” for our kids, but it is what it is, and we want to have a celebration for the kids.’
About a third of the students gathered for the occasion on Sunday, according to Suspilne, a Ukrainian media outlet.
Rather than waltzing in front of their entire school, pupils found themselves dancing while Ukrainian soldiers looked on.
Anna Episheva, 16, who was pictured in a red ball gown amid the rubble, said: ‘There were a lot of friends from school, we were like one big family.
‘With the girls we chose dresses and were glad that everyone would be very beautiful on graduation day.
‘But the “Russian world” came to us and ruined all our plans which we dreamed of.’
Hlib Opashnian, another of the graduating students, said he had seen the school being destroyed days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, adding: ‘I’m glad to be graduating.’
Since the start of the war, Kharkiv which is just 30 miles from the Russian border, has been a target for Vladamir Putin’s forces, leading thousands to flee the city.
Many pupils have not yet been able to return to the city.
Kostyantyn Nemichev, a soldier who helped to defend the city, said that School No 134 had been the Russian occupiers’ last outpost before they were pushed out of Kharkiv.
A Russian strike on Kharkiv yesterday killed one person and wounded three more, local mayor Ihor Terekhov said.
Russia ‘does not leave Kharkiv alone and constantly keeps people in fear’, he added said.
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