Inside one of many ruined lecture rooms, written in chalk on a big inexperienced board hanging on the wall slightly below Isaac Newton’s portrait, was a message addressed to the pupils and signed “The Russians”.
It learn: “Kids, we’re sorry for such a large number, we tried to save lots of the college, however there was a bombing. Dwell in peace, maintain your self and don’t repeat the errors made by your elders. Ukraine and Russia are one folks. Peace be upon you, brothers and sisters.”
The be aware, written in Russian, in distinction to Ukrainian – the college’s language of instruction, was considered one of a number of notes left on the blackboards and whiteboards scattered across the constructing. One other mentioned, “We’re with peace in the entire world.” CNN can’t independently confirm who wrote the notes.
Mykola Mikichik, the highschool principal in Katyuzanka, instructed CNN final month that he was disgusted when he discovered the notes.
They wrote “Russians and Ukrainians are brothers” and on the similar time robbed the college … They destroyed computer systems, took laborious drives, took away laptops and printers, and left nothing at school! It is barbarism and hypocrisy,” he mentioned.
Mikichik instructed CNN that three anti-tank mines, a number of stun grenades and magazines containing bullets have been discovered on the college grounds. The kitchen, lately renovated with new tools that was used to feed greater than 500 youngsters a day earlier than the conflict started, was fully destroyed.
In keeping with an operational replace revealed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Protection on March 3, Katyuzanka was in charge of Russian forces at the moment, having arrange logistic camps there and in different villages within the area.
Mikichik estimated the fabric injury inflicted by the Russian forces – and in his opinion there isn’t a doubt that they ransacked the college – amounted to about 5 million hryvnias ($170,000) and mentioned he couldn’t think about the pupils returning any time quickly. .
Hope we could be associates
“All the things was pulled. Even the cables have been stolen. We had electrical cables fabricated from copper wires and 100 meters of cable have been stolen,” he mentioned.
On the similar time, one other be aware left within the faculty reads: “Be simply and sincere with one another, lend a serving to hand to everybody who wants it. We hope to be associates! Develop into docs, engineers, academics – those that deliver peace!”
The notes on the board at Katyuzanka have been amongst dozens of letters present in colleges in previously occupied areas of Ukraine after the withdrawal of Russian forces.
In Ukraine, photographs of those notes have grow to be a logo of cruelty and the colossal end result of unjustified Russian aggression.
However in Russia, they generated a completely totally different response once they first appeared in April and rapidly grew to become a part of the propaganda portraying Moscow’s assault on Ukraine as “liberation.”
The Russian information website Lenta.ru revealed an article about “touching messages to Ukrainian youngsters” left behind by the Russian military, whereas the web site of the Russian Tsargrad TV channel reported a “honest” comment wishing Ukrainian youngsters “good luck of their research.” ”
Former Russian Tradition Minister Vladimir Medinsky even shared a photograph of one of many notes, saying he was “impressed” by her message.
“We’re sorry, we did not need this conflict.”
Novobikievsky Public Excessive Faculty was badly broken through the preventing. Vovk instructed CNN final month that the roof was badly broken by the bombing and all of the home windows have been shattered.
“The library is broken. Textbooks are fully burnt, not a single textbook is left. Places of work are smashed, tools is confiscated,” she mentioned.
Nevertheless, in lots of lecture rooms, Russian troops left notes calling for peace.
“We’re sorry, we didn’t need this conflict. Slavic brothers, you might be deceived. Struggle is unhealthy, don’t battle, youngsters!!” Learn one signal written in giant letters throughout the inexperienced board.
“Let’s reside in friendship!!!” It was posted on one other board, Vovk mentioned. A photograph from one other classroom exhibits an indication saying “We’re all Slavs. It’s not good for brothers to go away [against each other] with a knife.”
Like Mikichik, Vovk is now cataloging the injury executed to her faculty through the occupation.
“We had an interactive board that price us 100,000 hryvnia ($3,700) they usually stole it. Printers and laptops have been stolen. What they could not steal, they broke, made unusable,” she mentioned.
The Novyi Bykiv faculty constructing is designed in a U-shape, surrounding the schoolyard on three sides.
“It was handy for them, they put a rocket launcher within the middle and fired rockets from the middle of the college,” Vovk mentioned, including that the design of the college and its basements made it simpler for Russian forces to cover from the incoming hazard.
“There are numerous corridors within the faculty: you may go in on one aspect and out on the opposite they usually have been very comfy with it. They even had a eating room there,” she added.
Vovk mentioned she believes among the messages left by Russian forces present her private desperation. She mentioned a lot of them have been expressing anti-war sentiments, and no less than 5 notes have been calling for friendship.
She mentioned there was an inscription studying “All of us need to reside” and the phrase “alive” written in giant letters. One other mentioned, “We do not perceive what we’re doing right here.”
“I believe these observations present that they understood the doom,” she mentioned. “Perhaps they have been ready to die.” “However additionally they thought of the truth that they’d be punished for the evil that they had executed. It seemed like [writer] She wished to reside, have a baby and do the whole lot as common, however they realized that in any case this they’d not be capable of return to regular life. ”
Putin is your boss
Within the Zdvyzhivka grammar faculty within the village of Zdvyzhivka, northwest of Kyiv, one other kind of letter was discovered.
“Putin is your boss. Kids, finding out laborious, Russia wants educated residents,” reads a be aware discovered on a board embellished with youngsters’s drawings depicting totally different planets of the photo voltaic system.
A faculty worker, who wished to stay nameless because of security considerations, mentioned journey wire mines have been discovered within the faculty buildings after the Russians withdrew from the world in late March.
Below Russian management, the Zdvyzhivka faculty grew to become the headquarters of OMON, the particular police department of Russia’s Nationwide Guard, he mentioned. Like Katyuzhanka, Zdvyzhivka can also be positioned on one of many foremost roads to Kyiv from the north.
As within the different two colleges, nearly all of the tools of the Zdvyzhivka Faculty was stolen or destroyed.
“They smashed youngsters’s tables, destroyed the kindergarten and smashed home windows. They stole good boards and laptops,” the worker mentioned.
The worker added, “We had a giant LCD TV. They could not steal it as a result of it was too huge. So that they filmed it and left it within the classroom.”
On the board close to the smashed TV display screen, one other message was discovered written on the board: “Forgive us!”