ukraine soldiers get married

Lesya and Valeriy getting wed on the frontlines

Even while facing the uncertainty of war, a Ukrainian couple decided to celebrate life by getting wed on the battlefield. Their story is sweeping the internet, reminding us all that when tomorrow is not guaranteed, there is no better day than today to honor love.

Lesya Ivashchenko and Valeriy Fylymonov had been romantic partners for more than 20 years (according to ABC News), and even have an adult daughter together. But still, they had never officially tied the knot.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion—prompting many Ukrainians to join the country’s defense forces—Lesya and Valeriy had not seen each other. Their reunion was marked with the impromptu marriage ceremony.

Lesya told ABC News “We decided who knows what will happen tomorrow. We should get married in front of the state, in front of God.”

Donned in military attire rather than a white dress and tux, the bride and groom hold champagne flutes as they are serenaded by fellow soldiers. One even plays a bandura (a traditional Ukrainian lute-like instrument). The bride holds a bouquet of white flowers while wearing a veil. She holds hands with her beloved as they listen to the music. Despite everything, these people show optimism for the future.

The now-viral video offers powerful imagery symbolizing the unwavering resilience of the Ukrainian people. They continue to inspire the world to hold onto hope, in both big and small ways.

At Upworthy, we are dedicated to finding stories that uphold the very best of humanity. The particular kind of courage displayed by these wedded combatants—who still choose love in a time of war—is indeed a story about humanity at its best.

Photo by Jacopo Maia on Unsplash


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