The most touching moment was when, in a church in Kiev, light-years but not many miles from the bloody and deadly front of Donetsk, notes and the words “All of me” by John Legend began to circulate. “My head is under water, but I breathe well. You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind. Because I love everything about you. Julia and Maxim looked into each other’s eyes and said “yes” with a force that can only exist in times of war, where Russian roulette always lies in wait for the drowned and the rescued. Every moment is a gift, because 43-year-old Maxim is fighting in the trenches of Donbass, and every dawn can be the last. And his wife Julia, aged 39, followed him to the front as a doctor and risked her life to be by his side. At the forefront there is no time to plan weddings, there is a desire to get married right away. Life versus death.
LOVE AND DEATH
Decisions that cannot be made become urgent, they cannot be postponed. Here and now. Because tomorrow may not be. And it is not strange that in the first 5 months of the war the number of marriages in the Kiev registry office increased eightfold, from 1110 the previous year to 9120. life. Maxim and Yulia have not stopped kissing since they entered the church, and the promise they made was as simple as it was unbelievable: “to grow old together.” A challenge to the invader, more than a reasonable target. As John Legend says: “You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind.”
To organize a wedding in every detail, not only for Maxim and Yulia, but also for other soldier couples who return from the front to promise each other a life of love, spend their honeymoon in three dream days in the Carpathians, and then return to battle, is a non-profit public organization founded by Ksenia Draganyuk and Andriy Kolesnik on March 31, 2022, a month after the invasion, to spread and support the culture of “women in the army” and provide female soldiers with ammunition, uniforms (“which we sew ourselves”), shoes and humanitarian kits .
What is happening in Ukraine is what happened in other wars, for example, in Sarajevo during the siege, when the increase in the birth rate compensated for the deaths from snipers and bombs. In Kyiv, pop songs are back in fashion, which were considered too cloying, for example, “Hello, bride.” The simple determination to survive becomes an act of heroism. And marriage is a patriotic investment. But along with the emotions of the newlyweds, there are also the emotions of those who unite them at the altar or in the Kyiv City Hall. “Some of them will go to war and never come back,” one of the officials responsible for “blessing” the wedding told Newsweek. “So every day we put our heart and soul into making every couple happy.” In Vinnitsa, after a terrible bomb explosion that claimed the lives of 26 innocent people (including a child in a stroller dragged by her mother), the day after Darya Stenyukova stubbornly celebrated the wedding she had long planned, defiance, among the rubble destroyed by bombs his family’s apartment. And posted the pictures online. “We are ready to get married even when rockets fly over our heads.”
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on Il Mattino