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Flag of Novorossiya

Monday, July 11, 2016


In love and war: Leader of pro-Russian separatists platoon weds girlfriend in Donetsk… as his colleagues slaughter dozens of Ukrainian soldiers in missile attack

  • Arsen Pavlov wed sweetheart Elena Kolenkina in flashpoint city
  • Guests included the self-proclaimed governor of Donetsk, Pavel Gubarev
  • Snipers kept watch through windows of the town's registry office
  • 23 government soldiers killed during attempt to retake eastern regions
  • Government troops have been fighting separatists for over three months
  • President Poroshenko said that Kiev would 'find and destroy' the pro-Russian separatists responsible for missile attack
A pro-Russian platoon commander kisses his bride at their wedding ceremony in the flashpoint city of Donetsk today where just a few kilometres away 19 government soldiers were killed in a rocket attack.

Arseny Pavlov, who goes by the call sign Motorola, dressed in battle fatigues and sported a broken arm in a sling to wed sweetheart Elena Kolenkina in the eastern Ukraine city, currently at the centre of the the country's bloody civil war.

Snipers kept watch through windows of the town's registry office while  guests included several high-ranking separatist leaders including the self-proclaimed Governor of Donetsk, Pavel Gubarev.

Guns and Roses: Groom Arseny Pavlov, Donetsk People's Republic platoon commander, and bride Elena Kolenkina exchange rings during their wedding ceremony in the city of Donetsk

Pavlov, who goes by the call sign Motorola, dressed in battle fatigues and sported a broken arm in a sling for his wedding ceremony

Separatist leader Pavel Gubarev, left, the self-proclaimed governor of Donetsk lays out a piece of cloth at the ceremony which took place in the beleaguered town's registry office

Platoon commander Arseney Pavlov, and his bride Elena arrive at their wedding ceremony in Donetsk

A woman walks past pro-Russian fighters as she arrives for the wedding in the city of Donetsk

July 12, 2014

Love On The Barricades: Ukraine Crisis Makes Couples … And Breaks Them Apart

by Glenn Kates 

There's a new power couple in the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic."

Meet Arsen Pavlov, aka "Motorola." Short in stature, and with a gap-toothed smile and a sling around his injured right arm, he is called a "legendary rebel" by Russian media. In an interview with the Russian nationalist magazine "Zavtra," the 31-year-old claims to have taken a train to Ukraine from his home in the central Russian republic of Komi when fighting broke out between armed pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops. 

Meet Yelena Kolenkina. Tall, with long black hair, and a handgun hanging at her side, she's a Slovyansk local who has become perhaps the most prominent female face of the pro-Russian separatist movement. Aside from appearing regularly on LifeNews -- an ardently pro-Russian online video news site believed to have ties to the Russian security services -- she has recorded a series of amateur videos accusing the Ukrainian government of atrocities. 

On July 11, the two were married in what separatist leaders say was the first officially recorded wedding in their unrecognized "republic." 

​​More than 400 people have reportedly died since armed pro-Russian militants believed to be backed by Moscow began seizing cities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine in April. On the day of the wedding, separatists in Luhansk ambushed a Ukrainian convoy, killing at least 19 soldiers.

​​But amid the crisis, which has seen brutal violence both in Kyiv and in eastern Ukraine, Motorola and Kolenkina are hardly the first love story.

Romance on the frontlines has been on display since December, when protesters took to the streets of Kyiv to protest then-President Viktor Yanukovych's last-minute decision to reject closer ties with the European Union. 

On January 25, amid intense fighting between pro-European protesters and Ukrainian riot police, Marina and Andriy tied the knot and then headed straight to Independence Square -- the center of the protests -- to celebrate. 
In early July, Oleksandr Ponomaryov was badly wounded in fighting against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Upon seeing him in the hospital, his fiance, Yelena, resolved to marry the Ukrainian soldier at his bedside. Barely able to lift his head up, but with a wide grin on his face, Oleksandr and Yelena said their vows alongside another couple in a similar predicament. 

​​Idyllic love stories don't always have happy endings, of course. And, the sharp divide created between opposing sides in the Ukraine crisis has also driven a wedge between some.

Lidia Pankiv, a 24-year-old journalist and pro-European activist, began the most unlikely of relationships, when she agreed to date a smitten riot police officer who had noticed her among demonstrators on the frontlines. But brought onto Ukrainian TV to speak about the love affair, she said she had "grown to hate him" for the role he had played in carrying out the "criminal orders" of the Yanukovych administration that had left two of her friends and some 100 others dead.

And Graham Phillips, an ardently anti-Kyiv freelancer for RT, the Russian state-run English-language news outlet, has written extensively about how the Ukraine crisis has caused his Ukrainian ex-girlfriend -- who he says he still adores -- to cut all ties with him. 

​​But more often than not, it is likely to be the more banal -- wives in different zip codes, for instance -- that ends relationships.

Motorola told LifeNews he decided to marry Kolenkina after she turned up with her mother to care for him following an injury in a firefight. "Do you need a son-in-law?" he asked the mother. 

"Absolutely!" she answered. 

It is not clear if he has yet informed his other mother-in-law, wife and child -- the ones that, according to an interview in "Zavtra" from early June, he apparently has in Komi.


Ukraine: Guns and roses at DPR's first wedding
Published on Jul 11, 2014
Video ID: 20140711 017

M/S Soldiers with flowers
W/S Soldiers with flowers
M/S Igor Strelkov, commander of Donbass People's Army
W/S Car with birde and groom arriving
M/S Bride and groom arriving
M/S Bride and groom inside the building
C/U Rings and the rose
W/S Bride and groom enter the wedding room
W/S Wedding ceremony
C/U Flowers and St. George's ribbon
C/U Flower on groom's uniform
M/S Groom kneeling and giving a ring to a bride
C/U Bride and groom kissing
M/S Igor Strelkov, commander of the Donbass People's Army
C/U Pistol and a holster under the wedding veil
M/S Soldiers congratulation to the
M/S Car with "Novorossiya" flag
M/S Bride and groom entering the car
W/S Car with freshly married couple leaving

The first marriage to be registered at the 'Donetsk People's Republic' was held in Donetsk on Friday.

The wedding ceremony took place between militia member Arsen Pavlov, whose code-name is Motorola, and his bride Elena Kolenkina. The bride wore the St. George ribbon in her hair and a holster with pistol in it. Friends, relatives, as well as comrades in arms, including Pavel Gubarev and Igor Girkin (Strelkov) were among those attending the ceremony.

The couple met in Semenovka, a village near Slavyansk, when Pavlov helped Elena who had been wounded.

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Arsen Pavlov, nicknamed, Motorola, a field commander of the so called "Donetsk People's Republic," and his bride Yelena Kolenkina, pose during their wedding in Donetsk, July 11, 2014.

Свадьба Моторолы и Елены ( Прекрасной). 11.07.2014
Wedding Motorola and Helena ( Beautiful ) . 07/11/2014
Published on Jul 11, 2014
Новоиспеченным молодоженам выдали свидетельство о браке на бланке ДНР под номером 0001.
Souped newlyweds issued a marriage certificate at the DNR form under the number 0001 .


Igor Strelkov (C), commander and self-proclaimed minister of defence of the so called "Donetsk People's Republic," congratulates Motorola and Kolenkina during their wedding. 

11.07.14 (г.Донецк, ДНР) Моторола зарегистрировал брак в Новороссии
11/07/14 (Donetsk , DNI ) Motorola has registered the marriage in New Russia
Published on Jul 11, 2014

Командир отряда ополченцев Моторола 11 июля в Донецке сочетался узами брака со своей избранницей, жительницей Семеновки по имени Елена. Их семейный союз стал первым официально зарегистрированным в Новороссии.

На видео бракосочетания Моторола одет в свою боевую форму. В косу Елены вплетена георгиевская ленточка. Невесте также доверено нести автомат полевого командира. Сам он не может этого сделать из-за гипса -- недавно Моторола сломал руку.

militia detachment commander Motorola on July 11 in Donetsk combined knot with his chosen , resident Semyonovka named Elena . Their family unit became the first officially recorded in the New Russia .

On the wedding video Motorola dressed in his fighting form . The braid is woven Elena St. George 's Ribbon . Bride also entrusted to carry automatic warlord . He himself can not do this because of the gypsum - Motorola recently broke his arm .

Среди гостей народный губернатор Павел Губарев, министр обороны Донецкой Народной Республики (ДНР) Игорь Стрелков и другие представители высшего руководства самопровозглашенной республики, а также члены отряда Моторолы. Одним из первых новобрачных поздравил Игорь Стрелков.

-- Дай бог ему здоровья, детей побольше, и чтобы дети были такими же храбрыми солдатами, как и он, -- пожелал министр обороны ДНР.

Among the guests of the People's Governor Pavel Gubarev , the defense minister of the Donetsk People's Republic ( DNR ) Igor Strelkov and other members of senior management of the self-proclaimed republic , as well as members of the detachment Motorola . One of the first bridal congratulated Igor Strelkov .

- God grant him good health , more children , and that children were just as brave soldiers as he , - Minister of Defence wished the DNI .


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