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"Sometimes, dreams come true in peculiar ways"

– a love story of Yevheniia, a sniper of the Special Forces Regiment “Safari”

Friday, the 261st day of the war

…Being little, I would tell everyone that I want to become a killer. Though, I was unaware of who actual killers and snipers are, and thought it is all the same. Instead of dolls, my father used to bring me toy weapons, cars, and police uniforms from Poland. I even intended to join the Israeli army. Perhaps, that was the influence of my strong sense of justice. In civil life, I was never scared to fight the offenders. And just like that, at war, I decided to battle for the truth. This time, with weapons.

Relationships, children, business, and the greatest joy

2 days before the full-scale invasion, I got a diploma, my third one. While studying law 11 years ago, I went to the military department to obtain additional military education. The first attempt to go to the battlefront was in 2014. Back then, I wanted to join the female military group but got rejected. I put off trying because I had a little child.

I got immersed in business life. For 10 years, before February 24th, I developed three directions and was well-known in many business communities. Sometime in January, a month before the big war, I called my mother to say “You know, I have spent many years looking for myself in business, and finally found the direction that makes me happy. I know what to do next, and feel the greatest joy”.

I was in a relationship before the war. But my partner went abroad on February 23rd, and we never saw each other again. After a month, we stopped keeping in touch. We became absolutely different people with different values. I have sent my mother and child to a safe place. There was no significant other anymore, and a lot of friends betrayed me. The world turned upside down, and I decided to devote myself to the war.

“You chose this way so you can withstand anything”

I decided to perceive everything that worried me as a chance for personal development. Being an entrepreneur for many years, it was hard to work in a team where I had to obey the commandment. So you mean I have to ask for permission to grab a coffee?

It was a psychological turning point. I did not feel free. Every time I wanted to give up, I would tell myself “Zhenia, you chose this way. So you need it, you can withstand anything”.

I conceded that war is no joke and no romantic relationships can take place. The commander said “Dating and flirting - all after the war”. So I was not approached by anyone. Well, maybe in their dreams :)

I envied the boys who had someone waiting for them. On the rare occasion of time off, they always visited their partners. I could only see my mother and my child, no dates. How do you meet someone if you are always on the frontline or in a bunker?

At some point, I started breaking down. I had to drag myself out of this state and tried to find joy in little things, like an omelette made in a slow cooker for breakfast. My mental state started coming back to normal. And then, my future husband appeared in my life.

“For the first time during the war, I have put on a dress“

… Zhenia voluntarily went to the army just like me. At first, he joined the Territorial Defence, and then the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He is a machine gunner. He is a natural, just like me.

He found publications about me on social networks, and it appeared that we have a common friend, who was in my photos. He texted me with a pick-up line “Good day, we have a common friend”. Just like that, we started talking.

He was texting me in a polite manner and invited me on a date to the restaurant when I come to Kyiv. We chatted nicely. Even when I had night shifts, he was constantly in touch with me... We talked, and talked and finally I got 3 days off to go to Kyiv.

He met me at the train station with a bouquet, and we spent all 3 days together. The first date in the restaurant was very nice. For the first time during the war, I put on a dress… That is it. I went to the battlefront again.

When saying goodbye, I gave him a badge with our photo. I did not like a regular badge from my regiment “Safari” at all. So, I ordered another one, with a picture of Zhenia and me. Us on the one side, and information on the other. He was always near my heart, and I was near his.

The next time we met was when Zhenia came to my base in the Zaporizhzhia region. He really wanted to see me. He wanted to bring humanitarian aid, and the commanders allowed him to come. Zhenia brought a lot: tablets, T-shirts, and even meat for shashlik-s. He met the commanders and… proposed to me. The guys agreed to “give me away” at once. I had a feeling they sold me just like that (laughs).

Zhenia said he fell for me when he first saw me on a video call. In 3 days he understood that I am “his” person. And a tear came out when he sat in the car after saying goodbye at the station. At that moment, he realised that I am his future wife…

“Everything is fast with the military”

When saying goodbye, Zhenia took off his patrol hat and put it on me. I always had it on, even though it was too big. The guys and the commander were laughing at me. When the commander met Zhenia, he said “She wore it all the time. I wanted to take it off, and she did not let me…”.

The next time we saw each other, I was his fiance. Everything is fast with the military. We do not think too long, do not postpone anything for tomorrow. Because tomorrow may never come. We decide fast. Why not? If something does not work, that is fine, that is life. We do not bother.

I came from the battlefront in mid-September. We could not find the wedding date because he was at war. It was unclear when he could get away. We got sick of it. Then I said “Let me come to you, and we will have the ceremony. If we can make it beautiful, with your comrades and the general… would be nice. If not - screw it! Let's make it happen!”

I got ready for the wedding in 5 days. My husband prepared the ceremony himself. On my way to Kharkiv, I could not imagine the way it would happen at all. It was a surprise.

"Sometimes, dreams come true in peculiar ways"

I was dreaming of becoming a sniper, and I became one. Sometimes, our dreams come true in peculiar ways.

Recently, Forbes wrote an article about me. It was a top dream when I was an entrepreneur. I did realise that I am not that powerful to be in Forbes and have to work more and more. And only when I quit entrepreneurship, closed the businesses and joined the military, did Forbes write about me. Sounds surreal!

My daughter wrote down her wishes on the previous New Year’s eve. She wanted her mum to find love, marry, and become pregnant. My child wished for that, not for some toys :)

Surely, she was extremely happy when I introduced her to Zhenia. She immediately started an interrogation.

“Do you love my mum? Good, what do you do? How much money do you have? What are your intentions? Are you going to marry her?”

She really loved him. It seems that she loves him more than me. They text and have some special jokes.

Zhenia wanted a child and for me to leave the war due to pregnancy so badly. After proposing, he could say every day “I want a child, that is it. I have come up with a plan to bring you away from the battlefront. You need to get pregnant”.

And I already was pregnant, not saying it to Zhenia. I found out about it a few days before his proposal. I was crying, and called my friend saying “What the hell should I do? I am a sniper, at the war, that is crazy. People will say I got pregnant in the trenches!”

For a month after the proposal, I did not tell him. I knew that as soon as I said something, he would take me away from the front. Only in September did I confess.

The next day I told my commanders about it, and the day after I went to Kyiv. I came back to civil life and was considering whether to stay in the military or not. After all, I decided to stay, and I cannot do anything about it. I need to be in my element, at least in Kyiv.

Now, on the home front, it is genuinely hard. When both my husband and I were on the battlefield, we were in equal conditions. But here on the home front, I worry more, though I understand that I cannot do much. I can only wait, believe, and support.


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