UK Cypriot helps Cornish museum after their plea for help to bring a model ship from the front line in Ukraine back to the county.

A businessman and a South African zoo animal rescuer have joined forces to help a Cornish museum after their plea for help to bring a model ship from the front line in Ukraine back to the county.
Andreas (Andy) Evangelou from Plymouth answered Charlestown’s Shipwreck Treasure Museum’s call for assistance in retrieving a bespoke model ship from Dnipro in eastern Ukraine. Last year the attraction commissioned retired rocket engineer Vitaliy Vrubel to create a model of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous ship, Endurance.
Andy, aged 64, is of Cypriot heritage and was inspired to help the people of Ukraine after last year’s Russian invasion after his own family encountered a similar situation when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974.
He said: “I was 14 and I saw my mother’s and father’s families in Cyprus became refugees in the blink of an eye. The home I grew up in London was suddenly accommodating up to 30 members of our extended family for a year and a half.
“Nearly 50 years later one-third of Cyprus is still occupied by Turkey, much the same as happened when Russia annexed Donbas and Crimea in 2014.”
So far, Andy has made six self-funded trips to Ukraine, each time taking tonnes of donated food, medicine, and essential items to help those in need in the country.
On his latest trip, Andy will be making the 32-hour overland trip to Kyiv to hand over his latest consignment of aid. It is here where he also hopes to rendezvous with Lionel de Lange from Warriors of Wildlife.
Lionel has offered to make the dangerous journey, including a 5-hour detour to avoid villages occupied by Russian forces, to collect the model of Endurance from Dnipro, which is now within the conflict’s “hot zone”. Then on to Kyiv to pass the model on to Andy to take on the 1800-mile journey to Charlestown.
Warriors of Wildlife was established by Lionel, a South African living in Ukraine to look after neglected zoo animals in the country. This has included relocating many, including lions, to their sanctuary in South Africa.
Andy is also working with Plymouth vet, Edmund Shillabeer, taking animal supplies to the war-torn country. Edmund, who is also hosting a Ukrainian family at his home, set up an appeal to raise funds to help care for pets rescued in the Kherson area that was badly flooded after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.

Michael Yiakoumi

Michael Yiakoumi

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