The very definition of bittersweet.
Happy moments are few and far between in Ukraine right now — but they are there.
A viral video captured one on Monday at the most unlikely of places: an armed Ukrainian military checkpoint.
The footage, shared by Nexta, shows a tense scene with four civilians held at gunpoint as soldiers search them, likely looking for any evidence of Russian saboteurs.
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The four stand nervously with legs splayed, arms resting on the roof of the car, heads down, as the troops carefully frisk them and examine their documents, the other two dozen or so members of the heavily-armed battalion encircling them.
But suddenly, a love song bursts forth from the car’s stereo; the soldier filming the encounter circles the car to reveal one of them is down on one knee behind one of the women, armed with a bouquet of flowers in one hand… and a ring in the other:
Pulling down his mask, he reveals himself to be her boyfriend, or judging by her delighted reaction, her now fiancé.
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Her friends, who were clearly in on the plot, run around to film her reaction, as the rest of the soldier’s comrades join in the cheers and applause.
The joyous moment punctuated the grim setting of Russia’s ongoing brutal invasion of its neighboring country, about to head into its second week, with neither of the newly betrothed assured of a life together — or at all.
On Tuesday the United Nations human rights office reported 474 Ukrainian civilians had already been confirmed killed, with this number both likely underreported, and virtually guaranteed to rise.
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