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September 3, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news


September 3, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

Yana Stepanenko lies in her bed at a public hospital in Lviv on May 12, 2022.
Yana Stepanenko lies in her bed at a public hospital in Lviv on May 12, 2022. Emilio Morenatti/AP

A Ukrainian girl who lost both legs in a Russian missile strike on a train station last year on Sunday ran a small part of a half-marathon in western Ukraine.

Yana Stepanenko, who is 12, lost both legs during shelling at Kramatorsk railway station, which killed at least 50 people, including five children, in April 2022.

On Sunday, she started running the Lviv half-marathon with prosthetic legs. 

That event, titled “Lviv Unbroken Half Marathon 2023,” said online it was being held on the “557th day of the new reality, the Unbroken reality.” 

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“Ukrainians were expected to fall in 72 hours, yet they kept running until day 557 and will keep running until the finish line. Until our victory,” the event said on its website. 

Yana ran 70 metres of the marathon. A video posted by the charity Unbroken.Ukraine showed her in a pink T-shirt, setting off energetically, among a group of mostly men with missing limbs and on crutches. 

“I’ve only recently got running prostheses, and I usually wear regular ones. So I’m just learning to run, a little scared because I’m not used to it yet. But I want to support children who have also lost their legs and cannot run. I want them to see what I’m doing and say to themselves: “Yes! I can do it too! I can run too!” Yana said, as quoted by the Lviv city council on its website. 

After the attack on April 8, 2022, Yana, badly wounded, travelled to San Diego, California for rehabilitation. She stayed there with her family for nine months, according to a story posted by the charity Unbroken on youtube. The family returned to Ukraine in August, that story said.

The Lviv city council said almost 1900 participants ran in Sunday’s half-marathon, which was cancelled last year because of the war.

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