Nearly a month into the war in Ukraine, with conflicting reports emerging hour after hour about Russians being beaten back only to be contradicted moments later by images of a buildings burning Kyiv, it can be difficult to know what to do to help.
The UK government’s response has been widely criticised for its slow response to the refugee crisis (the war has caused 3.5 million people to flee), despite Sajid Javid issuing a statement on Monday claiming 9,500 visas have now been issued to Ukrainian’s with family ties in the country.
Despite government shortcomings, many celebrities have issued statements of support, drawing on their public platforms and sizable bank accounts to help. Here are some of the famous faces trying to make an impact.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
The Ukrainian-born actress and her husband have been vocal in their condemnation of the Russian invasion since the beginning. Although Kunis moved to the US at the tender age of eight, she said in a video recording: “I love everything that this country has done for myself and my family. But today, I have never been more proud to be a Ukrainian.” The couple pledged their support for those fleeing and seeking shelter outside of Ukraine by setting up a GoFundMe page to raise money for housing and supplies. On March 17, the couple announced they had hit their target of $30 million and have since exceeded that amount, raising over $35m at time of writing.
Over the weekend, the former footballer, announced he was handing over his Instagram page to a Ukrainian doctor in Karkhiv. On Sunday Beckham’s account was taken over by a child anaesthesiologist called Iryna, who filmed her working day in a perinatal centre in the midst of the conflict. Beckham’s 71.5 million followers were shown footage of the cramped basement where Iryna and her pregnant patients were evacuated on the first day of the invasion. Beckham, who has been a Unicef ambassador since 2005, urged his followers to donate to the charity to provide families with clean water, food and hospital supplies for people like Iryna.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
The celebrity power couple, who often use their social media platforms to raise awareness for various causes, have pledged to match donations to the UN Refugee Agency up to $1 million dollars. The couple were quick off the mark in their public support, tweeting their intentions to match donations two days into the conflict.
I Would Like to Sponsor— Cher (@cher) March 18, 2022
Ukrainian Families in My Home.They Would Be Safe & Cared For.MANY PEOPLE IN MY POSITION NEED TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE.IF I WAS ALONE OR WITH MY CHILDREN,& WE WERE TRAUMATIZED,I WOULD
HOPE SOMEONE LIKE ME
TO TAKE CARE OF US.
The pop icon has taken a step further to help aid Ukrainian refugees, the 75-year-old announced on Twitter last week that she would be offering up her home as shelter for those fleeing the war. She announced to her 3.9 million followers that she "Would Like to Sponsor Ukrainian Families in My Home…They Would Be Safe & Cared For.” Cher went on to call on others in “her position” to “step up to the plate”.
Gigi and Bella Hadid
The model siblings both pledged to donate all their Autumn/Winter fashion week earnings to humanitarian aid in Ukraine. In a lengthy Instagram post Bella Hadid said that she had seen first hand how the invasion had impacted her Ukrainian friends and colleagues, calling it a “very emotional and humbling experience”. Hadid was inspired by fellow model Mica Argañaraz, who first announced she would be donating her earnings, prompting a slew of other models to do the same, including Gigi and Kaia Gerber.
The Sherlock actor has been vocal in his support of Ukraine, attending the Baftas earlier this month he sported a Ukrainian flag badge and told journalists that he hoped to be involved in the government’s new ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. He urged others to support the refugee effort saying: “We need to donate, we need to pressure our politicians to continue to create some kind of a haven here for people who are suffering. Everyone needs to do as much as they can ... there’s been a record number of people volunteering to take people into their homes, I hope to be part of that myself.”
It was falsely reported last week that the Oscar-winning actor had donated $10 million to the Ukrainian humanitarian effort. Although the climate change advocate later debunked these claims, he took to Instagram last Thursday to announce that he had indeed donated to the various charities including: CARE, International Rescue Committee, the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, and Save the Children in support of Ukraine. He wrote: “The victims of warfare in Ukraine have lost everything from their loved ones to basic materials for survival.”