After armed conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine, the population in the small town of Novotoshkivske plummeted. Thousands fled the fighting that raged along the contact line just kilometers away. Others were injured or died as a result of shelling.
Five years on, life here – or what there is left of it – revolves around the school. The horseshoe-shaped grey brick building, which houses a middle school and kindergarten, has seen its fair share of the conflict, with one wing destroyed. Yet classes continue, as well as sports events, local elections and safety workshops. The school also becomes a shelter when shelling starts.