Azovstal defender: The return of the fiancé

July 4,2022 270
Azovstal defender: The return of the fiancé

On the first day of Russia’s full-scale assault, he sent her a message: “Love you so much. And I understand that most likely I won’t be back.” But he is back – after the heroic Azovstal defense, serious injury, and captivity, he is one of the 144 Ukrainians released in the biggest POW swap to date on June 29. Finally, the two can wed.

In February 2021, Volodymyr Deyneko and Alina Graham met on a dating site. A quarter of an hour sufficed them to agree on their first date. In five days, when Alina began thinking that Volodymyr didn’t like her as he had made no attempt to kiss her, he texted: “I’m puzzled that you have not kissed me yet.” She liked the joke and their dating became regular.

Volodymyr has been in the army since the age of 20, and he had been for a year and a half with the Azov Regiment at the moment they met. He was inspired by Azov and said very strong and brave guys were serving in the regiment.

From the very beginning, they found out that both were looking for a serious relationship. Alina liked his nature – always calm and balanced. “We never were at quarrel in the two years, can you imagine that?” says Alina. “With him, I’ve learned and felt how it is – when you are loved that much.”

Seeing this great love, Alina’s grandma bought them an apartment in Mariupol. They remodeled it themselves, dreaming of a snug family nestle. They were planning to have a modest wedding party, as the remodeling had eaten most of their savings. And they were also dreaming of a child. All their dreams were destroyed by Russia. They enjoyed their snug nestle just for a short time when Volodymyr went to fight. Alina’s constant worries about him and the barbarous bombing of Mariupol resulted in a miscarriage. And the modest wedding party seemed indefinitely postponed.

For some time, they communicated via social media and exchanged voice messages. On March 19, any communication stopped. Alina fell into apathy and didn’t want to live. She didn’t pay attention to the shells flying by and didn’t go to a shelter – just waited for the Ukrainian forces to take Mariupol back. Then this hope melted away.

On May 12, Alina managed to leave the destroyed city. She moved to Kyiv to stay with Volodymyr’s relatives, who warmly received her as their own. “It’s not how my meeting with his parents should have been,” she says. Later, she learned that her Volodymyr was evacuated to the occupied territory among 53 seriously wounded defenders of Azovstal. He was alive! She prayed and hoped for his release.

Although they have not able to marry officially, Alina calls Volodymyr her “husband by heart” and says they will have their wedding later anyway.

Over 2,000 heroic defenders of Mariupol are still in captivity. We must not forget about them!

Source: Svoi.City

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