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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Ukraine awaits fairy-tale wedding
By Marina Denysenko
BBC News

Yevhenia Tymoshenko and Sean Carr
Yevhenia Tymoshenko has helped kick-start her fiance's rock career
Strikingly attractive, daughter of one of Ukraine's most powerful politicians, allegedly a wealthy heiress: what more could you look for in a girl?

For Sean Carr, a leather-clad and tattooed biker from Leeds in England, it all seems like a fairy tale.

His engagement to 25-year-old Yevhenia Tymoshenko, the only daughter of Ukraine's charismatic former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has plucked him from Yorkshire obscurity and thrust him into the media spotlight in one of Europe's largest countries.

The couple's romance will culminate in marriage this Sunday in one of the golden-domed churches of the Kiev Lavra.

The life of the 36-year-old former shoe repair man and aspiring rock singer took a new direction after he met Yevhenia in an Egyptian Red Sea resort bar in 2004.

Some reports say Yevhenia fell for the tall, darkly handsome Mr Carr and chased his friends to get his telephone number - something she has since denied.

'Mama' Tymoshenko

They met later in England, where Yevhenia had lived since her early teenage years. It took a while before she revealed her family background to her new boyfriend.

Mr Carr travelled to Ukraine at the peak of December's Orange Revolution. That is when he met his formidable future mother-in-law - the "goddess of the revolution" - and saw her enthralling the crowds with speeches in Kiev's Independence Square.

He admitted later to being frightened by the sight, but has now taken to calling her "mama".

Nine months later, Sean Carr was on stage on that very spot, taking part in a music festival on Ukraine's Independence Day on 24 August.

The packed crowds listened to the bone-shaking chords of his heavy metal band, Death Valley Screamers. His rock career soared as the band's first CD, Just Crazy, was released in Ukraine in September.

Mr Carr has already moved his Harley-Davidson bike and giant rottweiler to his new home outside Kiev, which he shares with his fiancee and future mother-in-law.

While many Ukrainians seem bewildered by Miss Tymoshenko's unusual choice, she stresses their feelings are mutual and just how much she loves his music.

Wedding secrecy

Yulia Tymoshenko, whose dismissal by President Viktor Yushchenko stunned Ukraine earlier this month, prefers not to say too much on the subject.

Sean Carr
The Death Valley Screamers singer calls Yulia Tymoshenko "mama"
"He is a nice person and he adores my daughter, that's the most important thing," she said.

"I am not sure this is too good for her image," commented Svitlana Dorosh, the head of the BBC Kiev bureau. She says many Ukrainians seem disconcerted by the Briton's Gothic looks and dark music.

Ukrainian paparazzi are bracing for Sunday's event, which is shrouded in secrecy.

It is believed the couple will be dressed in outfits by fashion designer Louis Vuitton and will be married according to the Christian Orthodox tradition. The wedding is to be followed by a trip to Yorkshire.


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