Thousands of runners gathered in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv this weekend as the city held its first full marathon since Russia's invasion.

Last year's marathon and dozens of other events were cancelled due to the war, but some have since returned as residents seek normality amid the frequent air raids.

"You need to try to make your life easier by any means possible," said Vlada, a 32-year-old participant in the long-distance race.

"If sports help you cope with anxiety or other difficult situations in life, then of course you need to do it," she said.

Over 5,000 people are taking part in the race this year, organizers said, with half the proceeds going towards buying equipment for the military.

The race comes after Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal warned last week that Russia had restarted a systemic campaign of air strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.


During winter last year Russian forces repeatedly attacked Ukraine's energy grid, leaving millions without power, heating and water, including in the capital.

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