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For A Moment Of Happiness

They have been together for the last two decades, and have an 18-year-old daughter… However, they still have not had time to get married. After taking up arms to save their country, Lesya Ivaschenko Filimonova and Valeriy Filimonov felt the need to tie the nuptial knot for the first time. On March 1 (2022), the Ukrainian civilian volunteer couple tied the knot in a bomb shelter in Odesa, even as the Russian forces continued missile attacks and shelling in different parts of the country. Officially, they became a couple after exchanging white roses and gold rings. Their colleagues, who put their lives at risk to save the former Soviet Republic from Russian aggression, celebrated the marriage of Lesya and Valeriy with cakes, champagne and music.

Lesya (R) and Valeriy

A video, which went viral on Twitter, shows the couple, in army attire, holding bouquets of flowers, instead of guns. Kiev Mayor Vitali Volodymyrovych Klitschko, who was present at the ceremony as a guest, reportedly blessed the bride and her groom. On the occasion, the mayor said: “Each and every Ukrainian wants Russia to stop fighting, stop killing innocent civilians. What could be a better thing than a social event, like a wedding, at the battlefield.

The bride – wearing a white veil, instead of a camouflaged helmet – stressed: “I’m happy that we are alive, that this day started, that my husband is alive, and he is with me.” For his part, Valeriy said: “We must take as much as we can from life.” Their wedding has attracted global attention, as the international community prays for the Freedom of Ukraine.

Love in the time of War

Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State, has also blessed the couple, saying that “love carries on even in the darkest of days“. The pontiff stressed: “In Ukraine, rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not only a military operation, but a war which is leading to death, destruction and misery.

Watch: The marriage of Lesya & Valeriy

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has blocked social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, in his country for allegedly spreading fake news regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territories.

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