Ukrainian Kids Go Back To School–With Bunkers At The Ready
These images show how kids in Ukraine are going back to school–with air raid bunkers at the ready.
The first piece of footage shows a school in the Poltava region in central Ukraine ready to welcome students back to its classrooms, with the basement kitted out like a bunker should the Russians launch air raids.
The footage was obtained from the Governor of the central Ukrainian region of Poltava, Dmytro Lunin, 42, on Wednesday, August 31. He said: “Poltava Oblast is ready for the start of the academic year in various formats. Parents choose the form of education.
“Our priority remains unchanged–safety. Thanks to Ukrainian defenders, children in Poltava region can study online and offline. And the best thanks from them to our soldiers is to get quality knowledge. Everything will be Ukraine.”
The images were also relayed by the Poltava region.
And Governor Lunin had said on Tuesday, August 16: “The educational process should be minimally stressful, maximum safety and quality. September 1 is just over two weeks away. Together with my deputy Maxim Kalininin, we will go to places and check shelters in kindergartens and schools.”
He added at the time: “Smaller village schools are also being prepared. Overall, the process is in full swing in the region. Some institutions have already managed the task, some continue their work. The coverings must meet the established standards.
“There should be heat, light, air conditioning, internet connection, water supplies, bathrooms. Talking about the cost of equipment is a relatively small expense for communities.”
Governor Lunin advised schools to prepare shelters, saying: “I strongly advise to take care of shelter in schools to all communities. This issue should be considered not only tactically, but also strategically. There are 533 schools in the region. A hundred and sixty of them are ready, and about 130 more in the process of preparation. The district and communities are doing everything right now to make sure schools have the right shelter. The children’s safety comes first.”
And it was announced that Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has visited a school in the Irpin area just outside the capital Kyiv on Knowledge Day, which is on 1 September in Ukraine.
President Zelensky visited the secondary school, which was damaged in March during the Russian invasion and which will now welcome 1,300 students back, and took part in a special class.
Greeting one another with “Slava Ukraini!” (‘Glory to Ukraine!’), the President talked to the schoolchildren and congratulated them, according to the Office of the President of Ukraine.
The President told the schoolchildren: “School is a second home. It is very nice to see so many sunny, bright children. You are recharging us all today. It’s good for you to study, good luck and all the best.”
President Zelensky also inspected the school’s basement, which has been “set up to shelter students during air raids”, still according to the Office of the President.
The Office of the President also said: “Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, told Volodymyr Zelensky, after the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine, 215 educational institutions were damaged in the Kyiv region, and 12 were completely destroyed. From 1 September, 412 kindergartens and 548 schools will work in the region in full-time and mixed formats. Eighty-two percent of schools have shelters.”
After his visit, Zelensky said on his official Facebook account: “Knowledge Day in one of Irpen schools. The institution suffered during the fighting in March, but before the start of the new school year it was restored.
“Today our children are going to school for the first time or going back to learning, continuing their education. They will have the opportunity to see, hear, know Ukraine.
“We are working to ensure that every Ukrainian war-damaged educational institution resumed operations, and our children were safe and nothing prevented them from gaining knowledge.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Friday marks the 191st day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and September 2, Russia had lost about 48,700 personnel, 2,009 tanks, 4,366 armored combat vehicles, 1,126 artillery units, 289 multiple launch rocket systems, 153 air defense systems, 234 warplanes, 205 helicopters, 853 drones, 198 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,247 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 105 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
A team of experts from the United Nations’ nuclear energy agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has arrived at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, with its head, Rafael Grossi, saying: “We are not going anywhere. The IAEA is now there, it is at the plant and it is not moving – it’s going to stay there.”
Grossi added: “It is obvious that the plant and physical integrity of the plant has been violated several times.” He also said: “I worried, I worry and I will continue to be worried about the plant until we have a situation which is more stable, which is more predictable.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned Moldova that any actions that could be seen as endangering Russian troops in the Transnistria breakaway region, which lies on Ukraine’s south-western border, would be considered an attack on Russia.
Lavrov said: “Everyone should understand that any action that would threaten the security of our troops would be considered under international law as an attack on Russia.”
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is reportedly investigating allegations that two unnamed senior civil servants might have been spying for Moscow.
The international NGO Human Rights Watch has said that Russian forces have been forcibly transferring Ukrainian citizens to Russia or to parts of Ukraine that they currently occupy, calling the moves “a serious violation of the laws of war that constitute war crimes and potential crimes against humanity”.