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Ukraine-Russia crisis

David Beckham hands over Instagram account to doctor in Ukraine amid Russian invasion

10:55 EAT 21/03/2022
David Beckham 2021
The Manchester United legend has issued a plea to his followers on social media to support those working on the ground as the conflict rages

David Beckham handed his Instagram account over to a doctor in Ukraine on Sunday amid Russia's ongoing invasion of the country.

Manchester United legend Beckham, who also won 115 caps for England as a player and is the current co-owner of MLS franchise Inter Miami, has been using his global reach on social media to raise awareness for those working on the ground in Ukraine.

The 46-year-old's 71 million followers were able to see the conditions doctors have had to deal with during the military conflict as he allowed Iryna, a child anesthesiologist, to take over his social media channels at the weekend.

What has been said?

“Today I’m handing over my social channels to Iryna, the Head of the Regional Perinatal Centre in Kharkiv, Ukraine where she is helping mothers give birth," Beckham wrote on Instagram.

"Head over to my stories to learn more about the amazing work Iryna and health workers like her are doing to save lives in Ukraine.”

Iryna detailed the harrowing reality of trying to care for newborn babies in war-torn Kharkiv and recalled having to evacuate many pregnant women and mothers to the hospital basement on the first day of the invasion.

"It was a terrible three hours that we spent together," she said on Beckham's Instagram stories. "Unfortunately, we can't take babies who are in intensive care to the basement because they rely on life-saving equipment.

"The first days were the most difficult. We had to learn how to work with bombings and strikes."

Iryna also shared footage and images of the conditions, adding: "We are probably risking our lives, but we don’t think about it at all. We love our work. Doctors and nurses here, we worry, we cry, but none of us will give up.”

Beckham's push for UNICEF donations

Beckham set up a fund for the UNICEF Emergency Appeal earlier this month in a bid to help provide aid for the growing number of refugees leaving Ukraine, which has now passed the one million mark.

The former midfielder, who has been an ambassador for UNICEF since 2005, has also posted regularly about the impact the conflict has had on children.

The humanitarian aid organization have been providing families with access to clean water and food in Ukraine while ensuring that child protection services continue.

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