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Ukrainian Soldier Freezes Sperm In Case He Does Not Live To Have Kids With His Partner

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With Russia's war on Ukraine advancing each day, soldiers at the frontlines are forced to come to the heartbreaking terms that they may not make it home to their loved ones. 

With the possibility of their lives being cut short, many of them are concerned about the well-being of their families, and the reality that they may never be able to start one of their own. 

However, there may be a way for the soldiers to leave their legacy behind and their families with a piece of them long after they’re gone. 

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Ukrainian soldiers are freezing their sperm so their wives can have children even if they die in war. 

When Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, 29-year-old Vitalil Khroniuk was one of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who eagerly joined the frontlines to defend his country. 

He has had an eventful year, not only serving in an integral part of the war but also marrying the love of his life, 24-year-old Anna Sokurenko. 

Although this should be a joyous time in the couple’s life, the impending doom of the conflict looms over them, and they are constantly struck with the reality that they may never have the future they planned together. 

The pair hoped that they would one day start a family, something Khroniuck reflected a lot about on the battlefield. 

While he may not live to see his children grow up, he still has the opportunity to have them thanks to a Ukrainian fertility clinic that is offering cryopreservation, a procedure that involves freezing one’s sperm or eggs. 

"It's not scary to die, but it's scary when you don't leave anyone behind," Khroniuck told CBS News. “You pray to survive, to leave something behind.” 

He and his wife Anna took some time to agree that this is what they wanted to do, as she was struggling to imagine raising children without him. 

"It was very painful to realize that there is a possibility that he will not return," she says. 

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The private clinic in Kyiv, IVMED, is waiving the $55 cost of the process for Ukranian soldiers and their wives. According to the clinic’s chief doctor, Halyna Strelko, about 100 soldiers have opted to freeze their sperm since the Russian invasion. 

Strelko believes that cryopreservation will stabilize the Ukranian population, given that the death toll will only ride as the war continues. 

“When the war is over, we will have a terrible demographic problem,” she points out. "We don't know how else to help. We can only make children or help make them. We don't have weapons, we can't fight, but what we do is also important.” 

Streklo has worked in the fertility business since 1998, and claims that her services are "a very aggressive part of this war with massive losses." 

One woman became pregnant shortly before her husband died on the frontlines and she plans on having more children using his frozen sperm. 

37-year-old Nataliia Kyrkach and her husband got pregnant while she was visiting a frontline town. He was killed in battle in November 2022. 

Before his death, he opted to freeze his sperm and was able to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby girl. 

Kyrkach hopes to one day bear another child using her late husband’s frozen sample. She believes that having his children even after he is gone is “an incredible support.” 

"We have loved each other incredibly strong for 18 years," she shared. She also praised the efforts of the fertility clinic and the process of cryopreservation for making Ukrainian soldiers’ legacies possible. 

"Their dads did everything possible to make this future happen. Now it is our turn, as women, to fight for the future of Ukraine as well, raising people with dignity. People who can continue to change the country for the better.” 

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, there have been over 14 million people displaced, entire cities destroyed, and around 13,000 Ukrainian soldier casualties. 

Russian forces have recently begun advancing in on the city of Bakhmut, resulting in an undisclosed amount of losses of both Russian and Ukranian troop members. 

If you want to help the people of Ukraine, please donate to United Help Ukraine which is providing donations, food, and medical supplies to displaced Ukrainians.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.