Kieu, Ukraine (AP) — They had been dating for over a year when the couple woke up to the turmoil of the war on February 24th. Russia was invading and Ihor Zakvatskyi knew he had no more time to lose.
He caught the engagement ring he bought, but until then he wasn’t ready to give it to Kateryna Lytvynenko. If death shares us, he thought, and let it be like his husband and wife.
“I didn’t want to waste a minute without knowing that Katya wanted to spend her life with her,” he and his 25-year-old bride exchanged vows and wedding rings in the capital this month. , Said 24-year-old Zakuvatsky. Kyiv.
The newlyweds have joined the growing army of Ukrainian couples who are rapidly turning love into marriage because of the war. Some are soldiers and get married just before the fight. Others are simply united in the face of many deaths and destructions with the determination that living and total love are more important than ever.
Ukrainian martial law includes provisions that allow both Ukrainians, both soldiers and civilians, to apply and marry on the same day. In Kyiv alone, over 4,000 couples jumped at a swift opportunity. Before the war, it was natural to wait for one month.
After three months of disruption of normal service, Kyiv’s Central Citizens Registration Office has reopened completely and is functioning at near prewar pace. Many people who have fled the fighting have returned since Russia withdrew bloody invaders from around Kieu in April and turned them back to the southeastern front. The number of weddings has increased accordingly.
Returnees include 22-year-old Daria Ponomarenko, who fled to Poland. Her boyfriend, Yevhen Nalyvaiko, 23, had to stay due to a rule prohibiting men aged 18-60 from leaving the country.
When they met again, they got married soon — she said, “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
After a few painful months away, only two people, who had no friends or family, were jealous of their intimacy. She wore a Ukrainian embroidered shirt instead of a puffy bridal gown. This is the traditional Vyshyvanka currently chosen by many brides to emphasize their Ukrainian identity.
In peacetime, they would have chosen a traditional wedding with many guests. But it seemed insignificant in the war.
“Everything is more sharply perceived and people become reality during such an event,” he said.
Anna Karpenko, 30, refused to end the wedding with an aggression. She arrived in a white limousine.
“Life needs to last,” she said. She and her new husband often talked about marriage and dating for seven years before the war put the plan into action.
Pavlo and Oksana Savryha had already experienced 18 years of civil marriage before renewing their vows by aggression. This time it was a small 12th-century church in the war-damaged northern city of Chernihiv.
“Our soul told us to do so. Before the invasion, we were always in a hurry somewhere, and the war stopped us and made important decisions until tomorrow. I didn’t postpone it, “Pablo said.
As Oksana was evacuated to the basement of their home, her husband was armed to join the territorial defense forces, and Russian troops besieged Chernihiv and fired at the first unsuccessful stage of the invasion.
After that, he joined the regular army. They celebrated their love at church this month.
The next day he was sent to the front line.
Follow AP’s war coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine