Ukraine war prom: Teenage school-leavers in war-torn Kharkiv don their ballgowns and tuxes

Poise amidst the rubble: In a jaw-dropping display of defiance, teenage school-leavers in war-torn Ukraine don their ballgowns and tuxes for an end-of-year prom

Graduates in Ukraine traditionally dance a waltz upon leaving schoolSo despite No 134 being shelled in Kharkiv by the Russians they still had a PromCouples can be seen dancing in shelled classrooms and in front of the school 

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Their high school lies in ruins from the brutal Russian onslaught.

But these Ukrainian pupils were still determined to mark their graduation in traditional fashion by dancing a waltz.

Members of a graduating class in Ukraine usually dance a waltz in front of the entire school as students hear the bell rung for the last time.

For those at School No 134 in Kharkiv this summer, it was a more sombre affair, conducted against the backdrop of their bombed out classrooms as troops from their country’s army looked on.

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.’

Dressed for defiance: In a billowing red ballgown, pupil Valerie, 16, stands before her shelled-out school in Kharkiv to mark her graduation

For those at School No 134 in Kharkiv this summer, it was a more sombre affair, conducted against the backdrop of their bombed out classrooms as troops from their country’s army looked on

About a third of the students gathered for the occasion on Sunday, according to Suspilne, a Ukrainian media outlet

About a third of the students gathered for the occasion on Sunday, according to Suspilne, a Ukrainian media outlet.

One pupil 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.’

Two school leavers dance the Waltz together in front of the ruined school 

10 graduates stand in front of their ruined school as soldiers look on 

The former pupils look with their heads down as they stand in formal wear during the graduation party 

Appears to show family and friends watching the graduation party 

Ukrainian soldiers look on at the waltz being performed at the ruined school 

Graduation party was celebrated in destroyed 134th school in Kharkiv, pictured ruined 

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.’

Other students have not yet been able to return to the city near the Russian border which was a major target for Vladimir Putin’s forces early in the invasion.

Kostyantyn Nemichev, a soldier who helped to defend the city, said that the school 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 on television.

Russia ‘does not leave Kharkiv alone and constantly keeps people in fear’, Terekhov said.

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