A Ukrainian couple, who are civilian soldiers, have formalised their relationship by getting married on the defensive line near Kyiv as war ripped their country apart.


Lesia Ivashchenko and Valerii Filimonov, both members of Ukraine’s territorial defence unit, got married in front of a military chaplain and fellows at a Kyiv checkpoint on Sunday.

A video shared by Reuters on its Twitter page shows the couple walking down the aisle while flanked by soldiers armed with grenades and missiles and journalists in bulletproof vests.

It is understood that the reservists have been together for twenty years but had not planned on an official marriage until the war started.


“We decided to get married because we live in challenging times and you never know what’s going to happen to you tomorrow. That’s why it is better do it sooner than later,” Filimonov said. 

On her part, Ivashchenko said to “remain sane at this precarious moment of war, we must live in the moment and keep their hope alive.”

“We must live in a moment. Many people talk about it, but just a few people live according to this rule. To remain sane, we need to live in a moment, keeping a hope for better. Still, we must take as much as we can from life,” she said.

The newlyweds were greeted by Vitali Klitschko, the mayor who happens to be a former world heavyweight boxing champion.


“Today I greeted the soldiers of one of the battalions of the capital’s defence of the capital Lesya and Valeri,” he wrote on Twitter while sharing a video from the wedding ceremony.

“They have been living in a civil marriage for a long time, and now they have decided to get married.

“The ceremony took place next to one of the checkpoints. Life goes on!

“And we will protect the life of Kyiv, Kyivites, our state!”



The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has claimed the lives of over 2,000 civilians and military personnel.

It has also impacted the lives of over 12,000 Nigerians living in the country. 

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