The first 4×4, purchased as part of a Jeremy Clarkson-backed Ukraine fundraiser, was delivered ahead of its trip to the war-torn country next week.
iktor Zaichenko, 48, originally from Ukraine, and his wife Lucy, 55, are the beekeepers at Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat farm in Oxfordshire.
The couple raises money to ship 4x4s to Ukraine with the help of Clarkson and his partner Lisa Hogan.
They plan to send off-road vehicles to areas of Ukraine cut off from aid.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Zaichenko said: “We only want to launch trucks that help people.
“It’s going to save people, it’s going to get them to hospitals, it’s going to get them to safety.”
Mr. and Mrs. Zaichenko planned to visit Ukraine in February just before the Russian invasion but decided not to go.
The couple were in Scotland instead when news of Russia’s invasion broke.
“We canceled (the trip), we just got home.
“It was like a death over and over again,” Ms Zaichenko told the PA news agency.
“It was just absolutely horrific.
“We didn’t know what to do.
“We just sat there, feeling helpless, and watched the country being destroyed.”
Mr. Zaichenko “realized that he could help Ukraine more from here than from there,” Ms. Zaichenko said, and so her fundraising efforts began.
While they initially planned to raise funds to send armored vehicles to Ukraine, Ms Zaichenko said it quickly became clear that 4×4 vehicles would be needed to reach smaller villages cut off from aid and support .
The first 4×4 has now been bought and is scheduled to start its journey to the Ukraine next week.
Their JustGiving has raised over £45,000 and they plan to buy and deliver more 4x4s in the coming weeks with the help of Clarkson and his team.
“We had immediate support from Diddly Squat…they were absolutely amazing, they were so supportive,” Ms. Zaichenko said.
“They wanted to help from the start … we’re honestly infinitely grateful.”
Clarkson recently shared his fundraiser on his Instagram page, saying: “Viktor, the beeman at Diddly Squat Farm, is Ukrainian.
“He has many family members and friends who are stuck there and need our help.
“You can donate money that will help them buy vehicles they need to evacuate people stuck behind Russian lines.
“I can’t believe I’m saying that in Europe today but they’re stuck anyway, they have to get them out.
“So pick-up trucks, anything they can get their hands on.
“They need the money for that.
“Please help if you can.”
Ms Zaichenko said the war in Ukraine “brought people together,” adding that “it brought out the best people.”
“In a war you see the darkness in humanity, but you also see the light.
“JustGiving is a very good example.”
To donate to the couple’s JustGiving visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/viktor-zaichenko
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/and-finally/jeremy-clarksons-beekeepers-raising-money-to-send-4x4s-to-ukraine-41556677.html Jeremy Clarkson’s beekeepers are raising money to send off-road vehicles to Ukraine