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Ukrainian couples are getting married despite the backdrop of the Russian invasion

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In several acts of defiance, Ukrainian couples have decided to tie the knot, despite the incredibly stressful Russian invasion in their country.

Lesia Fylymonova and Valerii Filimonov recently walked down the aisle near a checkpoint in Kyiv. She wore camouflage to the wedding, while he was carrying a rifle for the ceremony.

“Of course I'm happy,” said Fylymonova, translated from Ukrainian. “I'm happy that we are alive, that this day started, that my husband is alive, and he is with me.”

Both Fylymonova and Filimonov are members of the Ukrainian defence force and decided to get married after 20 years and a child together.

“We live in challenging times,” Filimonov said. “You never know what’s going to happen to you tomorrow.” 

Among those in attendance for the wedding was Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

“Every Ukrainian has just one goal: to stop the war,” he said.

Fylymonova and Filimonov aren’t the only couples to continue with their wedding plans despite the invasion.

Yaryna Arieva, a resident of Kyiv, and her partner got married on the day of Russia’s invasion. They spent their wedding night together, then joined the Ukrainian defence force the next morning.

“We wanted to get married on the sixth of May, but the war has started and we changed our decision and our plans,” she told CTV News Channel.

“We wanted to be together, to help each other, to care about each other and to cover each other’s back.”

Arieva hadn’t held a gun before joining the fight, while her husband had some experience with firearms, though no military training. 

Meanwhile, in Lviv, about 540 kilometres west of Kyiv, Bohdan and Iryna Manko went ahead with their wedding as well.

“Difficult times, but we are optimistic,” Bohdan said. “We are fighting strong and we will win.” 

“We didn't cancel our wedding because we hope for the better future to rebuild our country.”

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