The effect of the invasion on Ukraine's education system - One year overview
Updated: Apr 30
A new report from the Eyes on Russia team shows the devastating impact of one year of Russia's full-scale invasion on Ukraine's education system.
Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 to 24 February 2023, Centre for Information Resilience (CIR) investigators have collected 18,000 and verified over 9,000 pieces of data relating to damaged or destroyed civilian infrastructure. From this data, CIR verified a total of 381 incidents resulting in damaged or destroyed educational facilities in Ukraine.
Figure: Interactive map with all incidents resulting in damaged or destroyed educational facilities in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 to 24 February 2023.
According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science, as of 21 October 2022, 2,677 educational institutions had been damaged by bombing and shelling since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. 331 of these institutions were totally destroyed, and roughly 15% of the higher education infrastructure of the country was significantly damaged. In March 2023, data shared by ‘Save Schools in Ukraine’, an initiative supported by the Ministry of Education and Science, showed an increase in the numbers from October, with over 3,000 schools damaged and 370 destroyed.
CIR investigators have continuously monitored the damage and destruction of educational infrastructure since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Data collected on more than 350 incidents resulting in damaged schools and other educational institutions demonstrates the extent of infrastructural damage cities and towns all over Ukraine have suffered as a result of the invasion.
General descriptive analysis of the data shows that educational institutions in Kharkiv oblast and Donetsk oblast were continuously affected. The period that saw the highest number of education facilities affected was December-February, coinciding with an increase in fighting in Bakhmut, Soledar, and Vuhledar. This data correlates with the Russian offensive in these cities.
Figure: Overview of damaged education facilities in Vuhledar, Donetsk oblast. Visible in drone footage, shared on Facebook, on 27 January 2023, by the 72nd separate mechanised brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces.
A previous CIR investigation on the targeting of schools in Kharkiv city and the analysis of the shifting frontline in relation to the educational facilities have furthermore corroborated reports of indiscriminate shelling by Russian forces.
This report also provides an in-depth examination of two kindergartens, a secondary school, a university building, and the town of Vuhledar which have demonstrated that behind the statistical data and analysis, there are real facilities, livelihoods, and futures affected or at future risk from the bombardment. These case studies provide a closer look into the numerous different types of education facilities damaged and destroyed since the start of the invasion.
Although the number of incidents verified in this report is nowhere near the total reported by Ukraine's Ministry of Education, CIR's analysis provides an important view on the suffering of one of the pillars of society: a safe learning environment.
To read the full report, download the PDF: