Russian and Ukrainian refugees fled war and came to Tijuana, Mexico to tell their stories, proving that love can last even in times of war.
Their romance began over three years ago when Semen Bobrovsky, a Russian citizen, reunited with Daria “Dasha” Sakhniuk as he crossed the Ukrainian border. Their plan was to get married in kyiv, Ukraine, but the war upset their plans.
“I’m very happy to have met some very nice people who could help us come together in this marriage here in Mexico, in Tijuana,” Sakhniuk said.
The couple say Telemundo 20 that they traveled thousands of miles to reach the US-Mexico border. A trip that lasted six days, traveling by plane from one country to another until reaching the refugee camp at the San Ysidro checkpoint and later staying in a hostel in Benito Juárez.
On Wednesday, they participated in a ceremony at the Tijuana Civil Registry.
“A historic marriage,” says lawyer Josué Plascencia, lawyer and witness to the wedding.
“We are very happy because all these people helped us to make this happen, we are full of joy and gratitude to the Mexican people for what they have done for us. It was very exciting” , Bobrovsky said.
For two weeks, Sakhniuk and Bobrovski arrived in Tijuana intending to enter the United States as war refugees, and according to the Tijuana city council, both resided in Ukraine before war broke out, but had to flee.
“The problem the couple faced upon arriving at the San Ysidro checkpoint is that they only allow access to the United States via refugee status to Ukrainian or Russian citizens who can legally prove their relationship. For the Russian community, at present, there is no legal way to enter the United States, derived from this war conflict,” the Tijuana City Council said in a press release.
Sakhniuk not only celebrated her union with Bobrovski, but also her 27th birthday, with a traditional Mexican party including a mariachi and a “taquiza” which they celebrated alongside the other refugees at the shelter.
“As ‘Tijuana Sin Hambre Foundation’, being part of something so important has made us very happy and we are very excited. We are very happy to be part of this great celebration, we are convinced that love can get through wars. We realize that love during such a difficult time, we don’t lose faith that we can move forward,” said Maru Rique, of the Tijuana Without Hunger Foundation.
“We planned it in Ukraine, but things happen for some reason, we didn’t expect the war to happen, nobody expected it and that’s why we feel very lucky and grateful to be here right now with these people around us,” Bobrobskii said.
The couple were to travel through San Diego and then to New York to begin their new life as husband and wife.
Requirements to get married in Tijuana
Authorities said the requirements for carrying out the civil ceremony were as follows:
- The parties’ passports translated into Spanish and certified by an expert
- birth certificates
- medical certificate and blood tests
This story was originally reported by NBC 7’s sister station, Telemundo 20. To read the article, Click here.