A Ukrainian couple who first met during the 2015 war in the country have decided to get married before they take on Russian troops in the outskirts of Kyiv.
The couple, who met for the first time during the war in Donbas seven years ago, were photographed at the ceremony held in a hospital in Brovary earlier today.
The soldiers began their relationship in 2022 when they met by chance during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
‘There is a hard time ahead of us, so we decided to do it now’, said the bride as military chaplain and medic Yevgeny lead the ceremony for the couple.
Due to security reasons, the names of the couple are not disclosed.
The chaplain also held services for other military and medical personnel as well as for civilians.
Pictured: A Ukrainian couple who are fighting for their country and who first met during the 2015 war decided to get married before they take on Russian troops in the outskirts of Kyiv.
The couple were married in a hospital in Brovary, on the outskirts of Ukrainian capital Kyiv
Pictured: The couple said they decided to get married because they face ‘hard times ahead’
This is the second frontline wedding to take place in Ukraine in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Kyiv’s mayor paid a visit to a newlywed couple who got married on the frontlines, donned in military uniform and serenaded by soldiers.
Video shared online showed a loved-up pair, Lesya and Valeriy, who are with the territorial defence, celebrating the nuptials near Kyiv as former champion boxer Vitali Klitschko offered the pair his blessings and gives the bride a good luck kiss.
In a tweet, Klitschko shared a clip of the ceremony, with the pair surrounded by applause, cameras and fellow soldiers, saying that ‘life goes on’.
A video shows the grinning couple holding flowers as fellow soldiers around them shout ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ in the heartfelt moment, captured yesterday.
Lesya could be seen holding a bouquet of flowers as both her and Valeriy clutched champagne flutes.
Both the newlyweds were applauded and the bride looks to have swapped out her helmet for a white veil as she smiled and held Valeriy’s hand.
Both the newlyweds were applauded and the bride looks to have swapped out her helmet for a white veil as she smiled and held Valeriy’s hand
Vitali Klitschko paid a visit to a blockpost near Kyiv, to offer his well-wishes and blessings to two newlyweds in the territorial defence
A group of fellow soldiers also joined in a chorus to the couple, with one man playing what appears to be a bandura, a Ukrainian folk musical instrument similar to a lute.
The footage was shared by Paul Ronzheimer, reporter for German news outlet BILD-Zeitung.
Brovary is a city in northern Ukraine, an eastern suburb of the country’s capital, Kyiv.
The UN has confirmed 549 civilian deaths, including 41 children, since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, but suggested the actual figure is far higher.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday that more civilians had died in the war than Ukrainian soldiers, although estimates of Ukrainian military casualties vary widely
Since the invasion began on February 24, the Russian troops have seized numerous pockets of strategically important territory, particularly along the southern coast and to the east and north and are now positioned at Kyiv’s northwestern and eastern edges.
But they seem to have run into difficulties in winning large cities such as Chernigiv or Kharkiv and in the northeastern Kyiv suburbs of Bucha and Irpin, as well as in the east.
While Russia’s bombardment is massive and deadly, raising fears it will lay waste to cities as it did in Chechnya and Syria, the ground troops around Kyiv particularly seem to have hardly moved in recent days, according to a number of military experts.
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To the east of Kyiv, Russian tanks a few days ago reached a point a few kilometres from Brovary, with the initial impression being that they had driven 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Belarus in the north, a close ally they can use as a rear base.
But Ukrainian military and numerous defence experts say the Russians actually travelled from the east and from Sumy some 300 kilometres away, near the Russian border, taking small roads through sparsely populated areas.
At the start of the week, the Russian tanks arrived a few kilometres from Brovary and positioned themselves in surrounding villages. Locals said they counted more than 70 military vehicles, including around 40 tanks and around 300 soldiers.
This column, or part of it, then moved towards Brovary and Kyiv and was halted Thursday at Skybyn, according to Ukrainian military experts, who question whether the Russians seriously thought they could use a few dozen tanks to enter Kyiv – a city of thre million prior to the invasion and now fortified with barricades.
“I don’t know why they are doing that,” says Berezenko.
“You’d have to be mad, or misinformed… Or else they just want to confuse us.”
The incident in Skybyn reinforces Ukrainian soldiers’ belief that the Russians have overestimated their resources, in terms of troops and equipment, and underestimated those of their opponent.
“They have to camp in villages in temperatures of nearly minus 10 Celsius at night. They lack provisions and have to raid houses,” adds the Ukrainian soldier.
The Russians nevertheless have advanced far enough to raise fears of Kyiv becoming encircled imminently. In the capital, only the roads to the south are still open and the city is preparing to mount a “relentless defence”, according to the Ukrainian presidency.
The Russians could continue to destroy and bomb Ukraine, but they “don’t have enough men or equipment to occupy the country,” says Berezenko, giving his view that Moscow’s soldiers are “not numerous enough and (are) far from home” and “will end up wearing themselves out”.