On 22 May, one child was killed and three more injured on the way from school due to explosion in the bus in Debaltseve (Donetska NGCA). Reportedly the incident happened when children were travelling from Debaltseve school #5 after classes on a public bus. According to several reports the explosion was likely caused by detonation of a grenade carried in the backpack by one of the children. Information on this incident is yet to be verified.
Recent attacks on schools in Ukraine
In May 2018 Ukraine Education Cluster have recorded damages to a total of 6 education facilities (GCA: 3, NGCA: 3). All of the incidents are now verified. In addition to 5 incidents featured in the Education Cluster Incident Report as of May 18, 2018 a building of psychosocial rehabilitation center for children in Toretsk sustained damages on May 21, 2018 when 34 children were inside. Most of the children are now relocated to Sviatohirsk and are receiving required psychosocial support and other needed assistance.
These incidents bring the total number of education facilities which have been damaged in Ukraine since January 2017 to 49 (includes unverified cases). The month of May 2018 has had the highest number of education related incidents since December 2017, when 7 education facilities were damaged during a single month during an increase of hostilities. Since the start of the conflict in 2014 more than 740 education facilities have been damaged in Ukraine.
In addition to school damages at least 8 education facilities were temporarily closed recently (switched to distance learning) in Horlivka (Donetska NGCA) and 31 in Toretsk (Donetska GCA) due to continuing hostilities. Information on temporarily closure is in process of verification.
Children being poisoned after exposure to unknown gas
Ukraine Education Cluster is expressing concern regarding recent incidents of schoolchildren experiencing poisoning in different parts of Ukraine. Reportedly during May there were at least 3 incidents when children were poisoned presumably after exposure to unknown gas while being in schools (May 22: school #3 in Kharkiv, May 21: school #6 in Mykolaiv, May 8: school #8 in Cherkassy). These incidents resulted in more than 100 children who had to undertake treatment in hospitals. There is no indication that these incidents are interconnected or that they are related to the conflict in the East.