With one arm gripping her gun and the other placed defiantly on her hip, Evhenia Emerald is the picture of Ukrainian resistance – even on her wedding day.

It is little wonder the sniper, 31, is known as her country’s answer to French heroine Joan of Arc.

And she was determined not to let her marriage ceremony with fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk detract from her duties on the Ukrainian frontline.

The couple tied the knot in a forest in Kharkiv on Friday, a public holiday known as Defenders’ Day to honour Ukrainian military veterans.

Shotgun wedding: Evhenia Emerald, pictured gripping her gun, married her husband while on the Ukrainian frontline in Kharkiv

Guns at the ready: The sniper married Evheniy Stypaniuk, pictured right, after the pair fell in love and got engaged in August

Guns at the ready: The sniper married Evheniy Stypaniuk, pictured right, after the pair fell in love and got engaged in August

Miss Emerald posted a series of pictures on Instagram, which showed her in a white dress

Defiant: Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion began, posted a series of pictures on Instagram, which showed her in a white dress

The couple tied the knot in a forest in Kharkiv on Friday, a public holiday known as Defenders' Day to honour Ukrainian military veterans

The couple tied the knot in a forest in Kharkiv on Friday, a public holiday known as Defenders’ Day to honour Ukrainian military veterans

Miss Emerald married fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk during a wedding ceremony in a forest in Kharkiv

Miss Emerald married fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk during a wedding ceremony in a forest in Kharkiv

Mr Stypaniuk placed a wedding band on Miss Emerald's finger during their wedding ceremony in the forest in Kharkiv

Mr Stypaniuk placed a wedding band on Miss Emerald’s finger during their wedding ceremony in the forest in Kharkiv

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, now serves as a sniper in the Ukrainian army

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, now serves as a sniper in the Ukrainian army

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, now serves as a sniper in the Ukrainian army

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, now serves as a sniper in the Ukrainian army

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, now serves as a sniper in the Ukrainian army

Miss Emerald posted a series of pictures on Instagram, which showed her in a white dress, her husband’s camouflage jacket, and holding a gun.

Her bouquet appeared to be comprised of ears of wheat rather than flowers.

‘Today I officially became the wife of a military man,’ she wrote. ‘I could not imagine a more perfect wedding!’

The pair fell in love shortly after the war began in February and got engaged in August.

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, said: ‘We understand that every day could be the last one and we don’t want to postpone life for later.’

A Ukrainian soldier places Miss Emerald's army jacket over her wedding dress on her wedding day in Kharkiv

A Ukrainian soldier places Miss Emerald’s army jacket over her wedding dress on her wedding day in Kharkiv

Miss Emerald was determined not to let her marriage ceremony with fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk detract from her duties on the Ukrainian frontline

Miss Emerald was determined not to let her marriage ceremony with fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk detract from her duties on the Ukrainian frontline

The pair fell in love shortly after the war began in February and got engaged in August

The pair fell in love shortly after the war began in February and got engaged in August

And she was determined not to let her marriage ceremony with fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk detract from her duties on the Ukrainian frontline

And she was determined not to let her marriage ceremony with fellow soldier Evheniy Stypaniuk detract from her duties on the Ukrainian frontline

Miss Emerald and her new husband Mr Stypaniuk (centre right) are pictured with their comrades during the wedding ceremony

Miss Emerald and her new husband Mr Stypaniuk (centre right) are pictured with their comrades during the wedding ceremony

Tying the knot: The pair are pictured at their wedding ceremony. Her bouquet appeared to be comprised of ears of wheat rather than flowers

Tying the knot: The pair are pictured at their wedding ceremony. Her bouquet appeared to be comprised of ears of wheat rather than flowers

The pair fell in love shortly after the war began in February and got engaged in August

The pair fell in love shortly after the war began in February and got engaged in August

Speaking of her wedding day, Miss Emerald added in a post on Instagram: ‘It’s a special day – too many holidays. I want to congratulate all defenders. Glory to heroes!

‘I also celebrate my lover because today is his birthday. Now he will definitely never forget his wedding anniversary.’ 

The wedding was held just days after a huge barrage of Russian missiles and Iranian-made kamikaze drones targeted virtually every major Ukrainian city, destroying infrastructure and killing civilians after a blast on the Crimean Bridge.

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, said: 'We understand that every day could be the last one and we don't want to postpone life for later'

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, said: 'We understand that every day could be the last one and we don't want to postpone life for later'

Miss Emerald, who has a daughter and was a jeweller before the Russian invasion, said: ‘We understand that every day could be the last one and we don’t want to postpone life for later’

Miss Emerald was a jeweller before joining the Ukrainian army but she now serves as a sniper

Miss Emerald was a jeweller before joining the Ukrainian army but she now serves as a sniper

The wedding was held just days after a huge barrage of Russian missiles and Iranian-made kamikaze drones targeted virtually every major Ukrainian city, destroying infrastructure and killing civilians after a blast on the Crimean Bridge. Pictured: Miss Emerald with her comrades

The wedding was held just days after a huge barrage of Russian missiles and Iranian-made kamikaze drones targeted virtually every major Ukrainian city, destroying infrastructure and killing civilians after a blast on the Crimean Bridge. Pictured: Miss Emerald with her comrades

This morning, a swarm of kamikaze drones attacked Kyiv, blowing up residential buildings and energy infrastructure as air raid sirens sounded across the Ukrainian capital in the early hours. 

Five explosions were reported in the city starting around 6.30am local time, the BBC reported, as the drones managed to dodge air defence systems with police resorting to using rifles to try and shoot them down.

Vitaliy Klitschko, mayor of the city, said the central Shevchenkivskiy district was targeted by blasts which hit several residential buildings. Oksana Kovalenko, a local journalist, said critical energy infrastructure was also hit.

Social media posts showed a blaze in the area of the strike as well as a building engulfed in flames. 

A ball of smoke and flames rises over the streets of Kyiv as the city is bombarded by a swarm of Iranian-made kamikaze drones early Monday, hitting residential areas and energy infrastructure

A ball of smoke and flames rises over the streets of Kyiv as the city is bombarded by a swarm of Iranian-made kamikaze drones early Monday, hitting residential areas and energy infrastructure

Iranian suicide drone

People run for cover as the drone hits

Astonishing images capture the moment a suicide drones dives towards the streets of Kyiv (left) and the moment people run for shelter after it explodes (right)

Several loud explosions rocked the center of Kyiv before huge plumes of smoke billowed up into the skyline. 

Meanwhile Ukrainian soldiers could be heard desperately trying to shoot down the drones, while air raid sirens rang out in the background.

Forces struck the city with Iranian Shahed drones, wrote Andrii Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president´s office, in a post on the Telegram social media site.

Russia has repeatedly been using the so-called suicide drones in recent weeks to target urban centers and infrastructure, including power stations.

Mayor Klichko said the central Shevchenko district of the capital had been hit, and urged residents to take shelter until it subsided.

He tweeted: ‘The explosion in the Shevchenkiv district – in the center of the capital. All services follow in place. Details later. The air alert continues. Stay in shelters!’

Smoke billows from the ruins of a building in Kyiv destroyed by a suicide drone after the city was attacked early Monday, as Russian forces continue to target the Ukrainian capital

Smoke billows from the ruins of a building in Kyiv destroyed by a suicide drone after the city was attacked early Monday, as Russian forces continue to target the Ukrainian capital

He added alongside a picture of one of the drones: ‘The wreckage of one of the kamikaze drones that attacked Kyiv this morning.’ 

The explosions came from the same central Kyiv district where a week ago a missile struck a children’s playground and intersection near the Kyiv National University´s main buildings.

The strike on Kyiv comes as fighting has intensified in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in recent days, as well as the continued Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south near Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.



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