Yarina Arieva and Svyatoslav Fursin were due to get married on May 6. But Vladimir Putin hastened their plan. Last Thursday, the day Russian troops launched an offensive against Ukraine, Yarina, 21, and her boyfriend Svyadoslav, 24, decided to get married at full speed in Kiev.
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The celebrations were minimal. The next day, the newlyweds changed into traditional Ukrainian attire worn during the ceremony for military exhaustion. They joined the Ukrainian Regional Security Division from the capital.
“It’s a strange honeymoon,” Yarina said on the phone Sunday evening, as her husband was returning from his first two-day trip out of Kiev.
They both live in an army-converted office building near the district where government buildings are located in the Ukrainian capital.
Hundreds, maybe a thousand, says Yarina Ariva. Young personnel of the enhanced regional security during the disaster after the Russian invasion sleep on the floor or square mattresses.
The atmosphere is extraordinary, we sing and laugh. We are very positive, we all hope that we will win, that we will not surrender, and that we will liberate our country from these beasts that have entered our land.
For now, most of the Russian troops are stationed about thirty kilometers from Kiev. Over the past few days, Ukrainian authorities have imposed curfews in the capital to protect themselves from “saboteurs” – Russian soldiers infiltrating the city, sometimes posing as Ukrainian soldiers and preparing for a final offensive. Some have already been monitored and arrested.
The Ukrainian government has issued an order banning men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the city. The public is busy preparing Molotov cocktails to welcome Russian tanks. The Ministry of Defense says it has distributed 25,000 assault weapons to civilians. And many civilians have raised their regional security rankings.
Among them are former President Pedro Poroshenko, former boxer and mayor of Kiev, Vitaly Klitschko, or opposition MP. Kira Rudik, too, says he has recently learned to handle a Kalashnikov.
Yarina Ariva and Sviadoslav Farsin are among the volunteers who are ready to defend their city and country.
Yarina is a young member of the Kiev City Council, where she represents the European Union.
Many of his colleagues and party activists were armed, he said.
His father, Volodymyr Ariv, it Press He met in 2014 amid protests against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who represents the same European Union party in the Ukrainian parliament Rada.
Sviatoslav Fursin is a computer engineer. Like his wife, he has no military experience. He says he learned to handle guns from his father over the years.
Like his young wife, he wants to stay in Kiev.
“I have no intention of giving my city to this character Putin,” Svyatoslav dropped in a tired voice.
Two days ahead
When we reached the couple on Sunday, Svyadoslav Farsin had just returned from a Ukrainian security post where he had not blinked for 48 hours.
He previously purchased used exhausts from the British Army and received an AK-47. “I provided my own shoes,” he insists.
His battalion was stationed with anti-tank weapons about twenty kilometers north of Kiev.
“I lead a group of 10 people who must prevent Russian tanks from breaking through our defenses,” the young man explains.
In a gruff voice, he says that until now, looking at Ukrainian security, Russian tanks have returned or branched out.
“Many have entered the forest. During our conversation, Svyatoslav Farsin did not take part in any fighting.
After two days of regretting about him, Yarina was relieved to find him. “He’s allowed to sleep for eight hours now, but he has to leave tomorrow morning,” he said. Where to go? Svyatoslav did not know. “It could be anywhere.”
Yarina Ariva also got a weapon of war for herself, but did not want to go ahead. “My physical condition did not allow it,” he explains. On the other hand, it works behind the scenes. She works in the joint kitchen. She is also trained on first aid in case of further injuries.
Example of Crimea
Svyadoslav Farsin says he lived for five years in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
What he saw there encouraged him to fight against Vladimir Putin’s forces.
In the old days, when Yalta was a Ukrainian city, you could hear music, jazz, classical music everywhere by sea. Since the Russians invaded Crimea, we did not listen to more Russian songs. There are police everywhere, they stop you from doing anything, they put drugs in your pocket to ask for bribes, ”he laments.
I lived in occupied Crimea and I did not want my country to become like occupied Crimea.
Was he not afraid of what awaited him on the day the Russian army launched its general offensive against Kiev?
“I’m not a hero, Sviatoslav Farsin promises, I do not want to die. But I’m not afraid for myself. I lead 10 men, I’m responsible for them, I have a job.”
His wife recalled the shock of hearing the first siren sound at dawn last Thursday. “First it was panic, fear, then tears, then depression,” he says.
Then Yarina realized she needed to take action. He also decided to join the Kiev Security Forces.
“I understand that my place is here, and that’s what I need to do.”