Donbas music school destroyed by Russian shelling in Eastern Ukraine

23 May 2022, 15:47 | Updated: 25 May 2022, 14:06

A music school was destroyed by Russian forces this weekend
A music school was destroyed by Russian forces this weekend. Picture: © Pavel Kirilenko / Donetsk Regional State Administration (OVA)

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

Rebuilt in 2016 with help from the Japanese government, the music education centre is now nothing more than rubble.

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Early in the hours of Saturday 21 May, Russian shelling destroyed a music school in the Eastern Ukrainian village of Sviatohirsk.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, reported the attack on Twitter saying, “the Russians [have] turned [the school] into ruins.”

Six years ago, the Japanese government helped to renovate the music school, which had again been damaged by the ongoing Donbas war. Their help was part of the ‘Support to community stabilization in the Donbas’ project, a $13.64 million (£10.85 million) initiative implemented to aid people and communities affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

Kyrylenko thanked the Japanese Government’s previous support in his tweet saying, “I am grateful to the people of Japan and to all our allies who have helped rebuild Donetsk for years.

“Let’s rebuild [again] now!”

Read more: Kyiv’s National Opera House defiantly reopens as war rages on in Ukraine

Less than 50 miles east from Sviatohirsk lies the former tourist city Severodonetsk. It is the largest city in the Luhansk region area which is still under Ukrainian control.

However, over the weekend, the city came under intense artillery and missile fire from Russian military. The Governor of Luhansk today accused Russia of using a “scorched-earth approach” in their army’s attempt to take control of Severodonetsk away from Ukraine, and “deliberately destroying” the city.

Similarly to Sviatohirsk, a school came under fire in Severodonetsk this weekend. Around 200 people were sheltering in the building at the time, and reportedly, the majority of these were children. At least two were killed.

Severodonetsk’s own music school was reportedly destroyed by Russian forces in March 2022 at the start of the invasion.