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British-Ukrainian man to take on fundraising walk

[Press center3] time:2023-05-30 20:02:40 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center3 click:121order

A British-Ukrainian man is to set off on a walk between two cities to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Alex Kowal said he planned to walk the 28-mile (45km) distance between Nottingham's Ukrainian Centre and Leicester's Ukrainian Centre.

In Leicester, he plans to join a vigil, which will be held to remember the outbreak of the war.

The service will take place at Town Hall Square from 17:30 GMT.

Mr Kowal said: "I decided that for the first anniversary of the invasion... I wanted to raise money for the Ukrainians who are still there either defending their homeland, in hiding from the shelling by the invaders, or helping other Ukrainians fleeing their homes in different parts of the country."

He said he had started doing long walks for charities in 2013 and had done one a year since then.

Mr Kowal, 40, a second-generation Ukrainian who works as a support analyst at Next's head office, near Leicester, plans to leave Nottingham via Ruddington and chart a course through Charnwood before reaching Leicester.

"I expect it will take between nine and 10 hours," he said. "I'm really going to push myself to the limit because I want to be at the vigil and show my support."

He said he had relatives in Ukraine, including a cousin on the front line.

"I just want to raise as much as I can for the people in Ukraine because I find their determination so inspiring," he said.

He plans to raise funds for the charity British-Ukrainian Aid.

"They do great work in supplying medical supplies and equipment to the front line," he said.

A spokesperson for the Leicester Ukrainian Centre said it had helped to send more than 17,000 boxes of aid to Ukraine since March 2022.

She said members would be gathering at Town Hall Square to hold a candlelight vigil of remembrance.

"We will be commemorating and condemning the atrocity against the peaceful country of Ukraine, honouring the fallen soldiers and civilian victims, and supporting the armed forces of Ukraine," she added.

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