Ever since they fell in love 10 years ago, they haven't spent even a single day apart, until they were forced to, by the war.
Maxim Lietova, 38, hitchhiked 500 miles all across Ukraine to get to his beloved family. He wanted to see his wife and kids for a day before he went into the front lines of the ongoing battle between his country and Russia.
Lietova was given a small window of leave before being sent off to war and he wanted to surprise his wife Olga, 33, and their two children Masha, six, and Miskha, two. He traveled day and night to get to his family, according to Daily Mail.
"I did everything I could to get home," Lietova told The Telegraph, adding that he will never take those moments with his family for granted. The man, who hadn't been able to see his family since March, is grateful for the opportunity.
"When I was a child and my Mum and Dad said goodnight to us, we didn't understand the importance of this gesture. Now this phrase has greater meaning for me," he said. "Now I wish for all the world to go to sleep under a peaceful sky."
Ever since the war began six months ago, the couple has been traveling long distances to meet each other, even if it's just for a few minutes. In July 2022, Olga drove 466 miles across Ukraine to surprise Lietova and spend just 20 minutes with him after he returned from military training in the UK.
🇺🇦 Before Maxim Lietova deployed to the frontlines against the Russian invasion on Tuesday, the 38-year-old father of two hitchhiked 500 miles across Ukraine to see his family for just one day https://t.co/DqNC8LglSg— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 31, 2022
After their most recent time together, Olga and Lietova are aware that they might not see each other again for a while. Lietova claims that he must serve Ukraine, no matter how difficult it is to part ways with his wife and kids.
"I think it's the duty of every man in Ukraine to defend our motherland," Lietova, who worked as a sales manager for Nestle before the war, said. "How would my wife and children look at me if I were afraid of an air raid siren?"
Though the two first met at school in Kryvyi Rih, a city in central Ukraine, but they didn't fall in love until 10 years ago, and ever since then, they haven't spent even a single day apart, until they were forced to, by the war.
Even though Lietova loves his family dearly, he has no idea when he will see them again. But he is holding on to hope to be reunited with them soon enough, as he goes out to the frontlines to defend his country and his family.
🔴Before Maxim Lietova deployed to the frontlines on Tuesday, he hitchhiked 500 miles to see his family.— Telegraph World News (@TelegraphWorld) August 31, 2022
🗣️“This 20 minutes we had together had an incalculable value for us,” said his wife Olgahttps://t.co/PNiBu1Lwab pic.twitter.com/MkdstF6RDj
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Scott Olson