Ukrainian Soldier Blinded in Combat Finds New Joy at Wedding He Cannot See

by Chloe Baker
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Ukrainian Soldier's Wedding

Rendered sightless by a Russian mortar attack, Ukrainian army veteran Ivan Soroka was unable to witness his bride Vladislava Ryabets as she entered his familial residence, adorned in a strapless white gown and holding a bouquet of white blossoms.

Nevertheless, when the 25-year-old Ryabets approached him, an emotional Soroka was overwhelmed with happiness, symbolizing a fresh life chapter commencing after artillery fire from the adversary robbed him of his vision.

“Upon my injury, my immediate thought was, ‘Who will desire me now?’” Soroka, 27, revealed as he sat in his home in a village near the outskirts of Kyiv.

He added, “I’ve managed to reconstruct myself. I perceive the world through my emotions and sensations.”

During the nuptial ceremony held in Kyiv, Ukraine on September 9, 2023, Ryabets tenderly touched Soroka’s visage.

In Bortnychi village, an atmosphere of festivity pervaded as dozens congregated under a tent adorned with decorations. The event, steeped in rural Ukrainian customs, was complete with folk music and a round loaf embellished with viburnum berries symbolizing fertility. Yet, under this joyful exterior lay a grim reality: Ukraine continues to be ensnared in a brutal conflict with Russia.

Soroka first encountered reporters from Big Big News at a rehabilitation facility dedicated to soldiers who have lost their vision in warfare. Love in the time of conflict is not uncommon in Ukraine; prosthetic-limbed young men often stroll hand in hand with their loved ones.

Couples manage to keep their relationships alive despite the exigencies of war. Short visits and temporary reunions become precious moments for these families, as the uncertainty of the military conflict hangs over them.

Nataliia, Soroka’s 86-year-old grandmother, expressed her sorrow that her grandson would never see the beauty of the world but found consolation in his union with Ryabets, describing her as a ‘golden woman.’

The couple first made contact on April 6, 2022, via an online dating platform, while Soroka was recuperating from pneumonia in a military healthcare facility. The mutual attraction was immediate and powerful.

Only six weeks following their initial meeting, during a short reprieve from combat for Soroka, the couple discussed their future engagement jokingly, but their commitment became increasingly serious, even as Soroka was deployed to Bakhmut for an intense and prolonged military operation.

On August 2, during a tactical retreat near Horlivka, Soroka was critically injured by a mortar shell, losing his eyesight and sustaining leg injuries. Communication was severed due to his damaged phone, causing Ryabets considerable anxiety.

Eventually, Soroka was able to retrieve his SIM card with the assistance of a nurse and reestablish contact with his soon-to-be wife. Despite his visible scars and unhealed eyes, Ryabets’ commitment to Soroka remained unshaken.

As the celebration unfolded, traditional Ukrainian rites were observed. In a ceremonial act symbolizing their new chapter as empty nesters, the parents of the bride and groom were placed in a wheelbarrow and immersed in a nearby pond. Guests offered vodka to passersby, adhering to a belief that consuming bitter alcohol would reduce bitterness in the marriage.

Marking this transformative phase of their lives, Soroka and Ryabets sealed their union with a kiss, eliciting cheers of “To the happy couple!” from the assembled crowd.

For in-depth coverage of the Ukraine war, please visit https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ukrainian Soldier’s Wedding

What is the main subject of the article?

The main subject of the article is the emotional and personal journey of Ivan Soroka, a Ukrainian soldier who was blinded during the conflict with Russia, as he marries Vladislava Ryabets. The narrative delves into themes of love, resilience, and the human spirit against the backdrop of ongoing war.

Who are the primary individuals featured in the article?

The primary individuals featured in the article are Ivan Soroka, a Ukrainian soldier who lost his sight in combat, and Vladislava Ryabets, his bride. Secondary individuals include family members and friends who participated in their wedding ceremony.

How did Ivan Soroka and Vladislava Ryabets meet?

Ivan Soroka and Vladislava Ryabets met online on a dating app. At that time, Soroka was recovering from pneumonia at a military hospital. They began chatting in May 2022 and got engaged shortly thereafter.

What is the significance of the setting?

The setting of the article is in Ukraine, specifically in the outskirts of Kyiv, where Ivan Soroka’s family home is located. This is significant because Ukraine is currently in a conflict with Russia, which adds complexity and depth to the story of the couple’s love and resilience.

What are some of the Ukrainian traditions mentioned in the article?

The article mentions several Ukrainian traditions, such as the decoration of a round loaf with viburnum berries, which is a symbol of fertility. Another tradition cited is the loading of parents into a wheelbarrow and dumping them into a body of water, marking the fact that their last child has gotten married.

How has the ongoing war with Russia impacted the lives of the newlyweds and their community?

The ongoing war with Russia serves as a grim backdrop to the love story. Ivan Soroka was blinded by a Russian mortar shell, and the article makes it clear that the conflict has imposed severe emotional and physical tolls on individuals and families. Despite the joy of the wedding, an undercurrent of anguish pervades the festivities because the country remains at war.

What emotional challenges did Ivan Soroka face after being wounded?

After losing his sight, Ivan Soroka initially struggled with thoughts about his desirability and future. He questioned who would want to be with him given his condition. However, he managed to rebuild himself emotionally, stating that he now “sees with his feelings and emotions.”

What are the hopes and plans for the newlywed couple’s future?

Ivan Soroka expresses a determination to move forward in life. He aspires to find work and is hopeful about having a first child with his new wife, Vladislava Ryabets. Despite his inability to see, Soroka seems optimistic about their future together.

More about Ukrainian Soldier’s Wedding

  • Understanding the Ukraine-Russia Conflict
  • Love and War: How Conflict Shapes Relationships
  • Ukrainian Traditions: A Closer Look at Wedding Customs
  • The Psychological Impact of Warfare on Soldiers and Families
  • The Role of Resilience in Overcoming Adversity

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