2 Ukrainian Army Couples Who Met During War Tie the Knot in Double Wedding: 'Life Goes On'

·2 min read
Soldiers Vitalii Orlich and his bride Kristina (L) and Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna kiss after being married during joint wedding ceremony on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.
Soldiers Vitalii Orlich and his bride Kristina (L) and Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna kiss after being married during joint wedding ceremony on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.

Scott Olson/Getty

Two Ukrainian couples, all members of the 14th Mechanized Brigade, have wed just months after they were brought together.

Khrystyna Lyuta, 23, and Volodymyr Mykhalchuk, 28, tied the knot Sunday alongside Kristina and Vitaliy Orlich, both 23, according to Agence France-Presse. The double wedding took place in front of a registry office in Druzhkivka, a town about 25 miles away from the frontlines, according to Agence France-Presse.

The celebration marked the "first marriage in the brigade in wartime" since the start of the Russian invasion, priest Yuriy Zdebskiy told the AFP.

"War is war, but life goes on," Lyuta told AFP, regarding the weddings.

Added fellow bride Kristina, "I believe that this is about creating a new family — it doesn't matter where it happens or how."

Soldiers Vitalii Orlich and his bride Kristina (R) and Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna are married during joint wedding ceremony on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.
Soldiers Vitalii Orlich and his bride Kristina (R) and Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna are married during joint wedding ceremony on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.

Scott Olson/Getty

Sunday's wedding came over three months after Russian forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.

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Still, romance has blossomed between the two couples, who may not otherwise have met.

Mykhalchuk and Lyuta, for instance, learned that they had lived about five kilometers apart in the same region for most of their lives and never knew each other until they met two months ago, per the AFP.

Despite only knowing each other for a short amount of time, Mykhalchuk told the news agency that getting married wasn't a "hasty decision."

"The main thing is that we love each other and we want to be together," he said.

Soldiers Vitalii Orlich and his bride Kristina (L) and Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna dance after their joint wedding ceremony on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.
Soldiers Vitalii Orlich and his bride Kristina (L) and Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna dance after their joint wedding ceremony on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.

Scott Olson/Getty

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At the wedding, Kristina wore a traditional white-and-red dress for the occasion while Lyuta donned boots and camouflage pants, which she matched with a traditional red Ukrainian blouse, according to the AFP.

Although their family members weren't in attendance, Kristina said her mother, who has spoken to Orlich online, already calls him "a son."

Soldiers Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna are married during a joint wedding ceremony with two other soldiers on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.
Soldiers Volodymyr Mykhailuk and his bride Hrystyna are married during a joint wedding ceremony with two other soldiers on June 12, 2022 in Druzhkivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. All four are soldiers in the Ukrainian army serving with the 14th separate mechanized brigade in eastern Ukraine. Both couples met while serving in the army after the start of the war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Russia for key towns along the western edge of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Moscow is focusing its firepower.

Scott Olson/Getty

After the ceremony, however, it was back to business. The four soldiers were expected to report for duty the same day as their wedding, according to the AFP.

"I can't give them free days as such," brigade commander Oleksandr Okhrimenko told the news agency, though he did make one promise.

"The only thing is that they won't be on the frontline," the commander added. "They will stay in the rear."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.