Ukraine schools hold last-minute bell ceremony

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Ukraine schools hold last-minute bell ceremony

The last day of classes in Ukraine is usually a festive occasion when gleeful students get dressed up and jump into fountains. As tradition dictates, the smallest student climbs onto the shoulders of the tallest to ring a bell marking the end of the school year.

In the midst of a devastating war that has forced millions of children to flee their homes and reduced schoolhouses to rubble this year, many schools have made do on Friday by holding virtual last bell ceremonies online, with some of the children signing on from overseas where their families have fled to escape the violence.

Near the front lines of the war in the country's east, a local official lamented that children were hearing gunfire and explosions instead of the bell.

The last bell did not ring today in Luhansk region, Serhiy Hadai, head of the region's military administration, wrote on his Facebook page. Those children who still remain in the area's bomb shelters listened to the cannonade.