This Kyiv jeweler began making body armor when Russia invaded. Now it's also sending wedding rings to soldiers on the frontline
The Kyiv-based jeweler Oberig is just one of the thousands of businesses whose operations have been completely upended by Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Oberig, founded by Tetiana Kondtratyuk, has had to cope with its employees being split between joining Ukraine's armed forces, others fleeing the conflict and some continuing to work. The company's production facility in Kharkiv was forced to shut down amid heavy Russian shelling, while its head office in Kyiv moved to the west of Ukraine. Kondtratyuk was forced to pare back Oberig's luxury operations and start building body armor with any profits from jewelry sales. But Kondtratyuk also wanted to contribute her jewelry to the war effort in some way. "From the very beginning of the war, I saw a lot of stories about soldiers who got married at the front," Kondratyuk told Insider.
"I came up with the thought to provide them with Oberig rings and I suggested it to the team. Kondtratyuk said 148 wedding rings have been donated to soldiers so far. She said she also received several requests from soldiers who were surrounded in the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. 'I don't really believe in God, but I pray for his safety every night' On the morning of February 23, Anastasiia Herasymova and her husband Denys told Insider they felt some anxiety about the build-up of Russian troops, before their world was rocked by the invasion the next day. "We didn't want to eat and drink, we didn't want to do anything.
Denys, who has been working as a medic with the Ukrainian army since mid-May, used an Oberig wedding ring when he and Anastasia tied the knot on May 20. "I don't really believe in God, but I pray for his safety every night," Anastasiia said. Other couples, Kondratyuk said, have married online with the rings, while others have reunited for a day to exchange vows. Kondratyuk said Oberig had recently returned to some work in their flagship Kyiv store, but she recognises the nature of her business has shifted for the foreseeable future. "We dream of returning to our work full-scale and developing business in a peaceful Ukraine.
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