High school graduation day in a war zone: Ukraine War in photos

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Ukraine war in photos: Graduation day — in a war zone

It‘s a milestone in the life of young people anywhere — a milestone not all are fortunate enough to reach, and one that those who do tend to celebrate and remember forever. That’s just one reason why photographs are almost always a part of graduation days, wherever they happen. Here we look at graduation days in the midst of the war in Ukraine.

Grid has written, in this space and others, about small-scale returns to normalcy in parts of Ukraine — the capital, Kyiv, in particular. In this curation of photos is a look at how this one rite of passage has been marked in some of the most scarred parts of the country. Young girls and boys don graduation outfits and celebrate by dancing and lofting balloons in the Ukrainian colors to the sky. Some mark the occasion in the courtyards of school buildings damaged by airstrikes, others in communities guarded by Ukrainian soldiers. It’s hardly normal, but one senses every effort being made to make it so.

As we would for graduates anywhere, we wish these young people all the best. And for these graduates in particular, we wish them better days ahead.

School graduates stand atop a tank wreck in Kyiv
Student wearing her prom dress poses for a photo among the ruins of their school
A student wearing her red prom dress poses for a photo among the ruins of her school
A view inside the school that was destroyed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv
Students wearing their prom dresses  dance in front of the ruins of their school destroyed in a Russian shelling
Four female students wearing their prom dresses outside of their destroyed school
Four students wearing dance costumes perform among the ruins of their school
A view of a school in Kharkiv which was destroyed as a result of a Russian shelling
  • Tom Nagorski
    Tom Nagorski

    Global Editor

    Tom Nagorski is the global editor at Grid, where he oversees our coverage of global security, U.S.-China relations, migration trends, global economics and U.S. foreign policy.

  • Jake Garcia
    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.

  • Jackie Padilla
    Jackie Padilla

    Video Producer

    Jackie Padilla is a journalist and video producer for Grid leading the social video team and studio production.