VILNIUS – A school rebuilt "from the ashes of war" and provided with modern equipment by Lithuania was opened in the war-torn eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka on Wednesday, the Lithuanian government said.
"A school rebuilt from the ashes of war opens up in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine," it tweeted. "A million euros was allocated from the Lithuanian state budget for this project under the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Program".
The government's office said in a press release that Lithuania had provided the school, rebuilt by Ukrainians, with state-of-the-art teaching and laboratory equipment, and a multifunctional sports field.
The project, which took more than two years to complete, was implemented by the Central Project Management Agency and administered by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
Deputy Government Chancellor Alminas Maciulis said during the opening ceremony in Avdiivka that it was among the most ambitious development cooperation projects in the history of independent Lithuania.
Avdiivka was occupied by pro-Russian separatists in April 2014. The town in Donetsk Oblast was recaptured by Ukrainian forces in July of the same year and has since been on the eastern frontline of the war between Ukraine and Russia.
"Broken windows, walls riddled with bullets – this was what the project participants saw when they came to Avdiivka for the first time," the Lithuanian government said. "The inspiring school project was implemented with the gunshots in the background."
The rebuilt school welcomed around 600 students and 50 teachers on Wednesday. The number of students is expected to grow as the school has capacity for up to 1,000 students, according to the press release.