<p>David Beckham in 2019</p>

David Beckham in 2019

David Beckham hands control of Instagram account to Ukrainian doctor

The former footballer hopes the move will increase awareness of the situation in the conflict zone

Joanna Whitehead
Monday 21 March 2022 10:15
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David Beckham has handed control of his Instagram account to a Ukrainian doctor working in Kharkiv to raise awareness of conditions in Ukraine’s second-largest city.

The former footballer, who has 71.6m Instagram followers, said he wanted to highlight the “amazing work” of medical staff operating amid the Russian invasion.

Iryna, who is head of the regional perinatal centre and a child anaesthesiologist, posted clips and images to Beckham’s Stories throughout Sunday, showing the reality of the conflict for those working on the frontline.

“Today I'm going to show you how we work in times of war and who we have become during these war days,” she said.

Iryna shared video footage showing a basement where pregnant women and new mothers were evacuated to during the first days of the invasion, an intensive care unit where babies are being treated and oxygen generators donated by Unicef.

Iryna, identified only by her first name, said she now works “24/7” and that, “We are probably risking our lives, but we don't think about it at all. We love our work.”

She also posted about a woman named Yana and her baby son Mykhailo, who was born on the second day of the war with breathing problems, and whose family home was destroyed during the fighting.

She said the child was “better now”.

The former Manchester United player has been an ambassador for the children’s charity Unicef since 2005.

In a video shared to his Instagram page, he encouraged his followers to donate to the charity, which is working in Ukraine to provide access to clean water and food, and provide child protection services.

“Thanks to your donations, the oxygen generators they have received are helping newborns survive in appalling conditions,” he said.

The news comes a week after David and Victoria Beckham established an emergency appeal to support refugees fleeing Ukraine amidst the Russian invasion.

David Beckham launched the emergency appeal on International Women’s Day 2022 through his 7 Fund, in collaboration with Unicef.

The couple shared the video announcement to their separate Instagram accounts on 8 March, where Beckham shared that his family had already made a donation to kickstart the appeal.

He wrote: “With my family safe around me, I felt the helplessness we all share when faced with scenes of such despair.

“Victoria and I have made a donation on behalf of our family to kickstart the appeal. We would be so grateful if you would join us to help Unicef support these innocent children. Please give what you can today.”

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