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Ukrainian military couples rush to the altar in the midst of war instability | CNN

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Kyiv, Ukraine

By late morning, a line had formed outside the unsigned registry office on the western edge of Kyiv. Some people were waiting dressed in casual clothes, but some women were dressed in white and carrying bouquets of flowers.

This is not anyone’s dream wedding venue, however, it is a very popular spot on a random Tuesday in July.

When it was their turn, Vlada, in a white lace gown, whispered to her fiancé Ivan, “all my life has led to this day,” as they walked hand in hand inside.

Ivan, a massage therapist turned military medic, used his only day off on the front lines in June to propose; This month, he managed to get away not long enough to marry his girlfriend of one year. The couple asked not to use their last name for security reasons.

“The [wedding] the procedure itself becomes easier during martial law. It’s hard for me to get here [to Kyiv] than actually getting married,” he told CNN after tightening the knot.

Vlada, an architect, and Ivan are part of what, anecdotally, appears to be an uptick in Ukrainian couples where at least one member serving in the military is notified. Short-term. This is partly because martial law has eliminated the usual one-month waiting period between notifying authorities of your intention to marry and the wedding itself. This change is intended to allow military couples to marry for the limited time they have.

“We live in a very dangerous time now, and it is possible that those who are planning for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or in a year to get married, have realized that we are living today – here and now. Maybe that’s what led to their decision,” wedding curator Oksana Poberezhets told CNN from the brightly lit room where she performed the no-frills ceremonies.

It seems the war has put the most important things in life into a sharp perspective. The next couple, Tatiana Yanova and Sergey Yanov, have been together for eight years. Suddenly, the war made marriage seem like an urgent priority.

“War worries me more than anything else,” Sergey, wearing a camouflage suit, said outside the registry office. This is the only day he can get out of the war long enough to get married. Tatiana said the ceremony at their simple registry office “wasn’t the way we envisioned our wedding, but we only had one day, so we wanted to make the most of it.”

In an interview with Ukrainian radio in April, Deputy Justice Minister Valeria Kolomiets said more Ukrainian couples have been married since the start of the war than is normally expected.

“The number of people who want to get married has increased, and this is especially due to martial law,” she said.

“Today’s circumstances lead to the fact that sometimes people don’t have the opportunity to wait. Because we have all found ourselves in situations where we don’t know what will happen tomorrow and even today until evening.

“In order for these people not to have any legal problems in the future, they have a chance and need to formalize their relationship as quickly as possible.”

Some people can’t even find a date to get married – Anna Khutorian, who lives in the city of Zolotonosha, Cherkassy region, central Ukraine, got engaged just before her current husband went to war.

Anna Khutorian

Anna Khutorian and her current husband were engaged just before he was sent to fight for Ukraine.

Not wanting to wait, Khutorian said, they took advantage of the relaxed marriage law, and she said “I like” in a Telegram video call with her husband and wedding planner while entering the grocery store for coffee. with a friend.

“My husband called me on a video call, like I was talking to you, and I saw a woman… who asked us if we were ready to get married,” she said in an interview on Telegram. “It’s the happiest day of the year.”

Aside from love, Khutorian says she only understands too well the sobering realities that make marriage so important – like being able to visit her husband if he is injured, or being allowed to arrange funerals if he dies in the middle of the night. war.

The couple’s novelty ceremony, conducted on March 31, was so impromptu that Khutorian didn’t even have a photo – just a copy of the wedding certificate that was passed on to her afterwards.

And she still hasn’t seen her husband since they were married more than three months ago—“just over the phone,” Khutorian said with a sigh.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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