A NEWLY formed charity helping Ukraine is appealing for four-wheeled drive vehicles for battlefield response medical teams.

Rupert Jones, a former GP, of Milton Combe, is asking for owners or companies to donate four-wheel vehicles to help fast-response medics reach the country’s frontline with Russian invaders with medical equipment and surgical materials to treat frontline casualties. The vehicles need to be able to survive a few weeks at least on rough tracks in the unforgiving terrain of the trenches where Ukrainian forces are face-to-face with the Russian invaders.

Dr Jones said: “It doesn’t matter if the four-by-fours are not in good condition, as long as they are robust enough to survive a few weeks in off-road terrain and able to be driven to the east of Ukraine in the first place to get to their destination. The truth is that the average life span of a vehicle on the front-line is four weeks, because they usually get destroyed by mines with the occupants or shot at. Therefore, we do need a steady flow of donated vehicles to keep the medics in action saving lives. The Ukrainians even prefer right-hand drive UK vehicles because they are safer from snipers because the Russians expect the driver to be in the left-hand seat and by the time their one-shot chance is gone, they realise they’ve missed their chance and the driver escapes.”

Rupert and his team are experienced supporters of Ukraine (by five former members of Plymouth Ukraine Medical Aid - PUMA). Since the beginning of the war last year, members have been taking medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. On Ukraine Independence Day (August 24), a launch meeting was held in Milton Coombe village hall, with Ukrainian supporters, joining the international ‘human chain’ of solidarity and raised their flags to join others doing the same all over the world.

Dr Jones said: “Our charity is different from PUMA in that we are providing paramedic teams the vehicles they needed to respond as fast as possible to battlefield casualties. We’ve been hearing heart-wrenching stories of suffering from Ukrainian refugees of their sons and husbands on the frontline. One mother’s two sons were badly wounded and one has even returned to the battle after recovering.

“Olena, a front-line paramedic out in Ukraine, made it clear they urgently cars to evacuate the wounded. Ideally, long wheel based four-wheel drive vehicles. They are vital to save lives. She showed a video of a tank being shelled and the treatment her and her team provided really quickly, thanks to the right vehicles.” The Nightingale team includes Dan Halton (driver and carer) his wife Tracey (paediatric nurse), Anton Horrwich (a project manager) and Denise Ullmann (paediatric nurse). The first aim is to deliver a car to the front line filled with medical aid. Details on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/profile. =100094108534387)

or by emailing [email protected]