Yorkshire farmers urged to donate 4x4s to help soldiers fighting in Ukraine

Farmers in Yorkshire are being asked to donate 4x4s to help front-line soldiers in Ukraine.

Pickups for Peace have just delivered their first consignment of 22 vehicles to Lviv, in western Ukraine, where they can be used to transport supplies and wounded troops.

The group, set up by farmers Vince Gillingham and Mark Laird, are aiming to deliver another 100 vehicles by June and they are looking for more 4x4s, volunteer drivers and cash donations.

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They said vehicles can be up to 15 years old and have more than 100,000 miles on the clock, as long as they have an MOT certificate and good tyres.

Farmers who travelled to Ukraine to drop of 4x4s that are being used to help front-line troopsFarmers who travelled to Ukraine to drop of 4x4s that are being used to help front-line troops
Farmers who travelled to Ukraine to drop of 4x4s that are being used to help front-line troops

According to the group, volunteers on the most recent trip came from farming communities across the UK. The youngest was 18 years old and the oldest was 76.

Mr Gillingham said: “Ukraine is under attack, and they are desperately short of four-wheel-drive non-military vehicles which are crucial to get food and medicine to their troops. We have plenty of these vehicles in the UK.

“It is so inspiring to see the good in the people who have given their vehicles, time and money to this project.

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"It gives you a lot of hope for the world to see an 18-year-old who has only just passed his test driving all the way to Ukraine."

He added: “Our Ukrainian contacts could not believe that the UK farming community would do this for them.

“I urge anyone who can donate a vehicle or money to help us buy vehicles and pay other expenses for these missions to get in touch.”

Mr Laird said: “These vehicles are saving lives, and Ukraine will take as many as we can send them.

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"Ukraine is a farming nation, and many UK cereal producers have done well this year on the back of high grain prices and would like to give something back.

“I have worked in Ukraine for much of my professional life, and love the country and its extremely clever and friendly people.

"Please help us with this humanitarian gesture – anything that we can do to help as farmers is invaluable.”

Ukrainian troops have been fighting Russian forces since the invasion in February last year and estimates on the casualty figures vary.

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The Ministry of Defence cently claimed around 40,000 to 60,000 Russian troops have died and Vladimir putin’s forces “continues to suffer extremely heavy casualties”.

Thousands of Ukrainian troops are also believed to have died in the fighting and the UN human rights office said there were more than 8,000 civilian deaths confirmed by mid-February.

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