• The school was heavily damaged after Russian forces attacked Kharkiv
  • The students danced against the ruins of their alma mater, the foreign ministry said
  • One of the graduates reportedly said most of the school's students left the city 

A group of Ukrainian students danced their “prom waltz” against the backdrop of their destroyed school in Kharkiv, Ukraine's foreign ministry said.

The video clip shared on social media showed the youngsters performing a coordinated dance to a slow song on their basketball court, while the ruins of their bombed-out school, with its broken windows and scorched walls, stood looming in the background.

A Ukrainian military vehicle was present with a troop of uniformed men standing several feet behind the students. Onlookers were also seen watching the dance and capturing the moment on their phones, Business Insider reported.

“Students of School #134, Kharkiv, danced their prom waltz against the backdrop of the ruins of their Alma mater,” read the tweet shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The students, who were reportedly graduating from the damaged school, were meant to share the “Last Bell” tradition before leaving the institution, according to the New Voice of Ukraine. However, due to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the students’ celebration was reduced to a waltz next to the ruins of their school, which used to be attended by hundreds of students until a few months ago.

The students reportedly performed their last school dance to a song, titled “Mriya,” by Ukrainian singer Jerry Heil. The video of the dance was published on YouTube channel Suspilne Kharkiv.

One of the graduating students said most of his fellow students had left the war-ravaged city, and only a third showed up to the prom, according to the outlet.

Russian forces had invaded the school on Feb. 27, a few days after the war began. Since then, the school has been a battleground for the fighting, and was used as an “outpost” by Russian troops, the foreign ministry said.

The New Voice of Ukraine also reported a platoon of around 30 invaders were killed inside the school by Ukrainian defenders.

Inna Sovsun, a member of Ukraine's parliament and the country's former deputy education minister, also shared a video of the dance on Twitter, and said Ukrainian alumni in Kharkiv "should happily celebrate their prom but are instead dancing in the courtyard of their school, which was destroyed by the #Russian MLRS."

More than 100 days have passed since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and triggered one of the worst conflicts in Europe in decades. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week that 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers were dying in combat every day, according to VOA News. The persistent attacks, bombing and shelling by Russian forces have destroyed nearly 1,900 kindergartens, grade schools and universities. Almost 38,000 residential buildings have been ruined, and about 220,000 people are left homeless, Ukraine's parliamentary commission on human rights said.

The ruins of a school destroyed near Kharkiv
The ruins of a school destroyed near Kharkiv AFP / Sergey BOBOK