(The Telegraph) – The start of any school year can hold dread, excitement and nervous anticipation for pupils returning from their summer holidays. The same is true in eastern Ukraine, but for the children of School No.9 in Toretsk on Europe’s war-wracked fringes, the stakes are far higher. “I hope this marks the beginning of a quiet, successful and, most of all, peaceful school year,” said headmistress Tatiana Tikhonova just hours after a new truce was agreed between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists. Her school in this Soviet-era mining town lies a few kilometres from the front line. “Education is just as important during times of war as in times of peace. Children still have to find their way in life.”