Neskuchnensk school in Donetsk region. Lost monument

/ Lost monument /

In collaboration with the Agency for Media Growth "ABO" and within the framework of the "Your Own Home" project, we publish stories told by Ukrainians about houses lost as a result of Russian aggression. Today we are talking about the Neskuchnen school in Donetsk region.

A school in the village of Neskuchny, Volnova district, Donetsk region. Once it was called "lamp" because it was bright and warm. After the arrival of the Russian invaders, all colors faded - only gray and black remained. The facility was completely destroyed.  

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"The school must be demolished and a new one built"

"In order to restore the school, it is now necessary to demolish the remains of the building and build a new one. It simply cannot be repaired. The destruction is very serious. Some rooms and corridors were not left at all, other emergency, destroyed stairs, everything was burnt. I don't know where the occupiers put all the linoleum, furniture, books, school boards. All this is not in any video. We carefully looked at the footage, tried to find and figure out which floor or class it was. It is very difficult to understand it based on some small signs," Olena Piskun, director of the Neskuchnensky ZZSO named after M.O., told the "Svoi Dim" journalist. Corfu. 

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The first destruction of the school was in April 2022, when the Russian military captured the village of Blagodatne, located near Neskuchny. Enemy flights bombed the cafeteria and the sports hall. People began to leave the village, and those who remained did not go far from their houses and knew little about what was happening with the institution.

Since February 24, the school accepted refugees from Volnovakha

On February 23, 2022, there were children and teachers at the school. Someone from the team believed that a great war was about to begin. But most hoped for the best. And the very next day, the institution was being prepared to receive refugees from Volnovakha. 

"School documents were collected and packed. Furniture and equipment were demolished in several locked rooms, and beds for refugees were installed in classrooms. From February 25 to March 5, we received people who were taken out of Volnovakha and nearby villages. Some shouted that we would have the same thing as them, but we did not believe it. They reassured and said that our boys would hold back the horde and drive it to the borders. And it is hard to believe that there will be such a war in the 21st century. There was hope that the world, the leading countries, would react quickly and stop this madness," says Ms. Olena.

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But the Russian invaders reached the village of Neskuchny

"We lost everything that was in the school. Even what was hidden in basements, in other buildings - everything disappeared. I can understand that technology has disappeared, but I don't understand why and where the school books and magazines were. Perhaps something can be found among the ruins, but now it is impossible to get there. The building is filled with mines and streamers. And the village is shelled regularly," says the director.

The school was bright and in good repair

Prior to the full-scale offensive, the school underwent ongoing renovations every year — mostly at the expense of sponsors. In recent years, modern repairs have been made in the primary school section, the sports hall, the school museum and the dining hall. The library had an area for children with special needs, as well as a play and study area. In 2021, a modern media studio was created and equipped. 

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Equipment for the studio won by participating in the "Educational Marathon" and "Youth_MediaLab" projects. The "Yuzhne" filling station, which was located in the currently still occupied Kermenchyk, helped us design the studio itself and purchase furniture. Also, recently funds for repair and purchase of new furniture have been allocated by the Department of Education. Therefore, our primary classes were beautiful and modern. We installed new doors in almost all school classrooms, laid linoleum, repainted walls in classrooms and corridors. They covered the roof of the gymnasium, cafeteria and dining room," the director recalls.

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The school in the village of Neskuchne was opened on November 25, 1895. At first, it was in the building built in memory of Baron M. O. Korf. It was a kind of monument to the educator, honoring and recognition from relatives and villagers. Then it was located in the ancestral estate of Baron Korf, and in 1967 the students moved to the new building. 

"Our unchanging tradition was the celebration of the school's birthday on November 25. If it was not a round date, a festive concert was arranged, a large cake with candles was baked for all the students of the school. The anniversary - the 125th anniversary was celebrated together with friends and invited guests. Our graduates and guests from the Lviv region came to us then, there were parents and children, representatives of the government, television," the director recalls.

History of the school

In November 1895, the school in memory of the baron and outstanding educator M. O. Korf was opened. 

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He was born in Kharkiv, but spent the first days of his life in the village of Neskuchny. By the age of 14, the baron remained an orphan. He then studied at the St. Petersburg Lyceum, and when he turned 21, against the persuasion and advice of rich and influential relatives, he went to his family estate in Donetsk region.

There, Korf began to engage in social activities, supported the cause of freeing peasants from serfdom. But he understood that this liberation will be possible only when the people get rid of illiteracy. After 1856, he began to work in public education.

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In the manor house, Baron Korf held teachers' conferences, hosted novice teachers, and helped them thoroughly master the profession. Here he created a large number of journalistic articles, textbooks and guides, and was the founder of libraries in the region.

Old-timers said that the entire village of Neskuchne participated in the construction of the school

In 1872, Baron Korf interrupted his activities in the Oleksandrovsky District, moved with his family to Switzerland, where he lived until 1880. Then he returned to his boring estate and continued his teaching work.

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The baron died in the fall of 1883. It was then that they decided to create a school in memory of M. O. Korf. His daughter, Kateryna Mykolaivna, and her husband, Volodymyr Ivanovich Nemyrovych-Danchenko, offered the Zemstvo one tithe of land on the territory of the estate and ordered a building plan. At that time, 627 people lived in the village, among them 93 children of school age. Old-timers said that the entire village of Neskuchne participated in the construction of the school.

Neskuchnenska school had an ostentatious appearance for that time. It had two cool, spacious rooms. In the same building there was a two-room apartment for a teacher. An orchard and a school garden were planted on the tithe of land that the Nemyrovych-Danchenkos donated to the school. And in the estate itself, after many years, the Memorial Museum-Estate of V. I. Nemyrovych-Danchenko was created here - a monument of national importance. Both buildings were the decoration of the village, but they were also destroyed during the occupation. The old school is almost destroyed. The manor museum has significant damage. Museum exhibits were destroyed or looted. 

In 1967, a new two-story school was built

After 1917, the family of V. I. Nemyrovych-Danchenko handed over the main manor house and the entire territory for the creation of a new educational institution.

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For almost 72 years, this building was used to educate the children of the village of Neskuchny. In 1967, a new two-story school was built near it, to which all students and teachers were transferred. In 2022, the building was destroyed by the Russian army. The village of Neskuchne in Donetsk region was a Russian fortified district. In early June 2023, he was released by the Ukrainian military.


Photo: archive of school director Olena Piskun 


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See also:

Polytechnic College of the State University of Economics and Technology, Kryvyi Rih. Lost monument

Chasiv Yar. House of Culture. Lost monument

"Chernihiv Regional Library for Youth". Lost monument