The military had destroyed the school and left the headmistress glowing with anger when she returned to find that they had looted all the electrical equipment
Russian soldiers left an apology to villagers as they moved out of a school they had taken over outside of Kyiv, some 50 miles east of Ukraine.
After five weeks of occupation, exhausted residents returned to Novyi and Staryi Bykiv, two halves of a village separated by a small river, to find their homes and public buildings destroyed.
Nowhere was entry restricted—including a local school that had become a base during the war.
Headmistress Natalia Vovk showed CNN reporter Clarissa Ward the destruction that remained – including the blood-splattered main entrance.
Emergency crews treated injured soldiers in classrooms, leaving military rations strewn on the floor. The principal walked the devastated hallways and told CNN about her shock.
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“We are for education. Education is the future,” she told the American news channel. “Students out. It is a pity that our occupiers did not understand that. Why steal everything? That is a school.’
The soldiers had looted all the computers and electronics before withdrawing from the village in northern Ukraine – but there were some signs that someone was ashamed.
The camera crew found a message scrawled in chalk on a blackboard that read: “Forgive us, we didn’t want this war.”
Inside the school – a recently renovated two-story building – the Guardian reports that the destruction is almost complete.
Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)
Ms Vowk surveyed the school with a journalist – treading carefully through the rubble as the building had not yet been surveyed for mines.
“I don’t know how we’re going to teach. The school bus is destroyed, so we cannot take the children to the neighboring villages,” she told the newspaper.
It comes as a mother-of-one received a visa for her best friend from Ukraine after spending 12 days on a hunger strike.
Cambridge-based Rend Platings will host friend Kristina Korniiuk, 34, from Kyiv, who has now received a visa under Ukraine’s sponsorship program.
Ms Platings said the visa application was made within minutes of the program opening last month.
She went on a hunger strike on April 1 after hearing nothing but an acknowledgment declaring that “the delay in issuing visas is compounding an already appalling humanitarian crisis.”
The charity’s chief executive had planned to end her hunger strike on Tuesday after Ms Korniiuk’s visa was granted and vowed to continue her campaign in other ways as more people wait for visas.
But she later said she would continue her hunger strike “for at least a few more days to draw attention to the plight of people who are still waiting”.
Ms Platings said it “feels great” that Ms Korniiuk can join the UK.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/retreating-russians-leave-message-school-26706112 After destroying village, retreating Russians leave message on school blackboard - World News