Ukraine athletes at the tournament in honour of the Armed Forces ©Ukraine Sambo

The United Charity All-Ukrainian Tournament has been held to support the Armed Forces in Ukraine during the ongoing invasion of the country by Russia, with the competition featuring sambo, mixed martial arts and wrestling.

Irpen, situated on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv, held the event  - eight months on from the city being invaded by Russian forces during the initial attack; with its Mayor Alexander Markushyn announcing on March 28 that Irpen was once again liberated.

To commemorate the work of the country's soldiers, the charity tournament was held in their honour, with the Opening Ceremony beginning with a minute of silence.

It took place despite blackouts in the Kyiv region, with alternative power supplies found to keep everything running.

Athletes came from Bucha, Odesa, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Korostyshiv to compete.

People from Irpen were displaced due to the invasion from Russia ©Getty Images
People from Irpen were displaced due to the invasion from Russia ©Getty Images

"The most important thing is that the boys and girls who are out on the carpet understand, thanks to whom they have the opportunity to engage in their favourite kind of martial arts," said Vadym Rogach, President of the National Sambo Federation of Ukraine.

"In many of them, their family members defend their Motherland in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 

"Fighting for the native land and our adult coaches and athletes, unfortunately, we have losses...but we can't be broken, we are the only ones and always ready to help those who are fighting on the front lines. 

"This tournament is a charity, which means that the funds raised will go to our defenders."

Ukrainian Minister of Youth and Sports and President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, Vadym Guttsait, was also in attendance, as well as Markushyn and the President of the Federation of Professional Combat Sambo Alexei Pleshakov.

It is a significant event in Ukraine, following the decision to boycott International Sambo Federation events due to the involvement of Russia and Belarus, who competed at the World Sambo Championships as neutrals.