Inna Gordiienko, a Ukrainian, will be one of the runners making their way to Green Park on Saturday as part of an international campaign to raise money for military supplies for Ukrainian soldiers.
In the London leg of Run For Ukraine, a series of fundraising activities organized by the Canadian non-profit Second Front Ukraine Foundation, which was founded by Ukrainians, they will complete a 5 kilometer route.
The 10 a.m. run is being organized by Ms. Gordiienko, who is hoping her corgi Cooper would join her.
“We are currently raising [funds] for technical radios for the [Ukrainian] Defenders. There is still a shortage of equipment for them,” she told the Standard.
Ms Gordiienko, who now lives in Sussex, said running has helped her mental health as she adjusts to life in the UK.
“Running has been always a part of my life for quite some time, for almost seven years, and I’ve been running mainly as an amateur and I always found it very meditating,” she said.
She landed in England only days before the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 with her British husband and puppy for what she believed would be a two-week vacation.
“But two weeks turned into more than a year,” she added.
Ms Gordiienko said she forgot about running for a period of time after the invasion.
“I forgot that I can do it, or I used to enjoy doing it, because when your home is in war and your friends are suffering and people are dying, you don’t really think about things that used to give you some kind of pleasure or enjoyment.
“After maybe months of feeling really depressed and anxious, I thought, ‘Okay, what can I do being a Ukrainian in a big country?’
“I thought that the least I can do is just to run in my Ukrainian t-shirt with the Ukrainian flag and just to draw attention to what is going on in at home. So I started running more and registered for different races.”
Since then, she has participated in races in Edinburgh, Brighton, and Cardiff in an effort to garner support for her native nation.
As part of Run For Ukraine, Brits are urged to participate by running in their local cities and towns and making online donations. Events have already taken place in London, Canada, Israel, Ukraine, and other countries throughout Europe, raising a total of £4,000.
When the races are added together, it is hoped that the target of running 6,992km, or the complete length of the state border recognized when Ukraine earned independence in 1991, would be met.
One kilometre of the state border of Ukraine will be equal to every ten Canadian dollars given.
Ukraine advancing in the south, says military chiefs
According to Ukrainian military sources, Ukrainian forces are making progress in the southern regions of their counteroffensive against the Russian occupation.
The Telegram messaging app reported that the forces were “engaged in active moves to advance in several directions at once,” according to Hanna Maliar, the deputy minister of defense of Ukraine.
“Practically in all sectors where our units are attacking in the south, they have registered tactical successes,” Ms Maliar said.
“They are gradually moving forward. At the moment, the advance is up to 2 km (1.3 miles) in each direction.”