As bombs fall on Kharkiv, residents defy Russia by having fun with life | EUROtoday

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In a bomb shelter, highschool seniors — gold sashes slung throughout their chests — took selfies earlier than their commencement. Inside, telephones flashed with air raid alerts as college students and academics carried out dance routines.

“We are the graduates of Kharkiv, the hero city!” the youngsters shouted from the underground stage. Parents cheered. Balloons sailed via the air.

Many college students attended all of highschool on-line — first due to the pandemic, then Russia’s invasion.

But for one evening, in a brightly lit basement, they left that every one behind.

A brief drive away, a small crowd gathered to listen to native band Alcohol Ukulele play a avenue present. The ukulele participant, Anton Derbilov was lacking. He was killed on the entrance line final 12 months.

The crowd swayed to the music, singing alongside. Among them was Derbilov’s widow, Kateryna, his daughter Oksana and several other troopers contemporary from the close by entrance line. Derbilov’s greatest pal, Oleksandr, 35, who fought alongside him for almost a 12 months, was additionally there, whereas on a brief break from his unit’s place north of the town. Like most active-duty troopers interviewed for the story, he spoke on the situation his final title not be utilized in accordance with army protocol.

“This is precisely what I’m fighting for,” he stated. “For these peaceful moments.”

Soon after, the air raid alarm began once more.