Sgt. Misha Varvarych, 28, an Assault Brigade commander and his fiancé Ira Botvynska, 19, navigate an altered destiny after he lost both legs fighting during the Russian invasion of Ukraine amid a growing number of war wounded amputees. Their unflinching romance speaks not of life interrupted but rather adapted and embraced as he faces a profound new battle - to walk again. They have spent over seven months living in a tiny room at Truskavets City Hospital for rehabilitation since his injury in May 2022.
Sgt. Misha Varvarych, 28, an 80th Assault Brigade commander and his fiancé Ira Botvynska, 19, navigate an altered destiny after he lost both legs fighting during the Russian invasion in Ukraine amid a growing number of war wounded amputees. Their unflinching romance speaks not of life interrupted but rather adapted and embraced.
In an age-old adage, love transcends adversity. They live in a tiny room at Truskavets City Hospital. At a tender age, Ira was forced to mature quickly. She plays footsie with his prosthetic leg and stands by her man, even when he can’t. ‘I was in love with his legs, especially his tattoos,’ says Ira wistfully. Above his knees they said: Face your fear. Accept your war.
He now faces a profound new battle - to walk again. His ammunition is humor. When asked his weight and height he quips without an ounce of self-pity, ‘With or without legs?’
In a country with a shattered economy it’s a challenge for hospitals, also under attack and understaffed, to provide adequate care.
Conversation turns serious when Putin’s name comes up. Misha, the warrior, talks with benevolence. His demure bride says she wants to murder the Russian leader. He embodies a common refrain of soldiers - given the choice he would return to fight.
At their first meeting he thought, ‘If she can accept me with all my scars then she will accept me in every way.’ The prophesy proved accurate.
Is she proud of him? Yes
What do they like to do? Sex
Future plans: Work with others that lost limbs.
The war changed them for the better with new priorities. They made a mutual decision to spend their lives together rather than a proposal. ‘It’s a good thing,’ jokes Misha. ‘I can’t get down on one knee now.'
He will receive state-of-the-art prosthetics in the US. For now, they hold onto hope. In sickness and in health..
‘God has plans for me,' states Misha confidently. ‘I need bionic legs to be able to lift my child off the ground in the future.'