Ukrainian newlywed says citizens ‘laugh at Russians’ | WDVM25 and DCW50

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CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) – Despite having to change her wedding plans and watch her husband send off to war, a new bride says morale is strong in Ukraine.

“Everyone laughs at the Russians. People are joking around here,” Yaryna Arieva said in Thursday night’s edition of The Donlon Report.

Arieva and her husband Sviatoslav Fursin were engaged on February 24, 2021 – exactly a year before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The couple were planning to marry in May, but as missiles began falling and convoys drew ever closer, they decided it was best to hitchhike now.

“We’ve been living apart and didn’t want to stay home while our parents are thinking about each other, not knowing what’s going on and really nervous,” said the newlywed Arieva.

Like many Ukrainian citizens, they say the war has indeed brought them closer together.

“We decided to get married to strengthen our bond and to help and protect each other as much as possible,” she said.

It’s a union and tenacity that surprised even the Russian military. Before the invasion, military experts predicted that the Russians would take Ukraine by this point in the war. But the Ukrainians persisted, civilians took up arms, threw themselves in front of tanks and mass-produced Molotov cocktails.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed in his speech on Tuesday that 9,000 Russians had been killed since the invasion, although that’s impossible to verify. Russia said on Wednesday that only 500 of its troops had been killed.

But Ukraine is still seen as an outsider in the war that has many difficult days ahead. Arieva said she heard some explosions on Wednesday night, telling The Donlon Report, “everything got as bright as day” and “it was really scary”.

She believed what she saw was the Ukrainian military launching a Russian missile and said, “It just exploded in the sky.”

Nevertheless, the Ukrainians are undeterred. Arieva said that as soon as one mission was completed, her husband, despite being tired, waited for the next one. Ukrainians are “ready to take up arms and kill Russian invaders,” she said. “It’s really awesome. People are in high spirits and they’re going to fight until they win.”

Arieva does not know the details of the mission her husband is currently on, only that it is a combat mission and belongs to defense – the second line after the Ukrainian military. Even the newlywed bride is unsure when her husband will be back.

In any case, she understands the task.

“People here believe and know that we’re going to win,” she said. “We will never surrender, and we will fight for our country as much as necessary.”

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