Russia’s invasion of northern Ukraine in February and March of this year, and continued active shelling, have inflicted major damage to the educational system of the Chernihiv Region, reports Ukrinform, the National News Agency of Ukraine.

According to the Chernihiv Regional State Administration, 115 educational institutions have been destroyed or damaged with total losses of UAH 14 billion.

“Out of 57 kindergartens in Chernihiv, 37 were destroyed or damaged. Currently, six have resumed work. There are now 2,000 places [for children in kindergartens], but we need 2,500,” said Mykola Konopatskyi, head of the agency’s education and science department, to Suspilne, The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine. He added that 12 of the 64 damaged institutions have been restored.

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Konopatskyi pointed out that the “Chernihiv region needs 81 school buses, because 60 were destroyed in Russian shelling. Bridges were also blown up; the usual transportation routes were disrupted. In view of this, the communities will decide where and in which school to conduct education.”

With an original population of nearly one million, the Chernihiv Region was attacked February 24, 2022, and suffered extensive damage in the following month of hostilities, including during the Siege of Chernihiv. In April, the Ukrainian Armed Forces liberated the region, however rocket attacks along its northern borders with Belarus and Russia continue, along with missile strikes upon its nearly 1,500 villages.

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The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has yet to comment on this information.

The problem, however, isn’t limited to Chernihiv. Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science said that more than 1,888 schools have been damaged by shelling and bombing since Russia’s February escalation, according to Reliefweb, which points out that more schools have been damaged and destroyed in Ukraine in the past 100 days than in seven years following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine in the east.

The fact that Ukraine is facing record high attacks on schools should outrage everyone. With each day that passes in this war, children’s lives and futures are put at greater risk,” said Onno van Manen, Save the Children’s acting Country Director in Ukraine. This war must end now.”

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