Just hours after their wedding on the first day of the Russian invasion, Yaryna Arieva and Sviatoslav Fursin joined the fight to protect their country.
The couple was scheduled to marry in May but rushed to get married in Kiev last week when Russia invaded before joining the Ukrainian resistance.
Wearing camouflage jackets and holding a rifle, the couple told DailyExpertNews’s Don Lemon about spending their honeymoon in a besieged city and taking up arms to fight against Russian forces invading their homeland.
“It’s hard to understand, this new reality that we have,” said Arieva, who is from Kiev.
She said it is the first day of spring and people usually sow sunflowers – Ukraine’s national flower – instead, they will resist Russia’s attack.
“No one here says we will lose, or cries. Everyone here believes we will win. It’s all a matter of time. So I’m really happy to see this large number of people really ready to fight. Be ready to kill for their country. No doubt about our victory in this war,” she said.
Her husband, Fursin, was born in the western city of Lviv and said his “people always want to be free. These people are ready to fight for their freedom.”
He goes on combat missions and is concerned for the safety of his family – his wife, parents and sister – but said he will “do everything he can to protect them”.
Arieva said she works every day and while it’s “hard to wait for my husband to come back from combat missions,” everyone helps each other.
“Life here is different, but it is life. People are joking and laughing. That is very interesting to see. It is a different kind of life that has changed with the start of the war, but it is life,” she said. .
The couple called on the international community to help Ukraine with money, food, weapons and medical aid and to impose more sanctions on Russia.
Fursin said he hopes the time will soon come when he can gather his family and friends “all in one place and have a good glass of wine. And say to everyone, ‘Hurrah, the war is over, we’ve won. ‘”
Before then, however, he said he wants “everyone in this world, including Russia and the Russian people, to remember” that they are fighting “for the freedom of the world”.