In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, DWTS star Maksim Chmerkovskiy took to social media to share live scenes from the Russian invasion of Ukraine through a series of emotional videos.
In the first video, the dancer can be seen speaking to the camera while standing on a balcony with strong sounds of military sirens in the background. In the second video, he can be seen panning the camera around the country’s capital to show his followers the “reality” of the grave situation.
Chmerkovskiy continued to share updates from Kyiv and confirmed he was safe inside a bomb shelter later in the day. However, he also noted that several people in his country were unsafe and requested his followers to spread awareness about the situation on social media.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy documents Russian invasion of Ukraine
Maksim Chmerkovskiy has continued to document the Russo-Ukrainian conflict from the capital of Kyiv ever since Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
In one of his initial videos, the dancer noted that, contrary to the current situation, people hoped the “aggressive measures” would be avoided despite the growing tensions between the two countries:
“I'm in Kyiv, contrary to what I probably should've done a while ago … and not that no one saw this coming, but everybody was hoping that the finality of this situation would be averted, that there wasn't going to be these kind of aggressive measures.”
In another video, the Dancing With The Stars pro is seen breaking down in tears while saying he wanted to go back to his family in the U.S.:
"You know me, I stay strong, and I don't show it and I don't show it. But I want to go back home.”
However, he also mentioned that while he had the means to return home, several of his friends, their families, children and the elderly do not have the same privilege:
“And I realize that I have the way to, I realize that I have a different passport, and my family is far away, [but] my friends whose kids are here, the mums and dads are here, the elderly are here, they can’t just escape.”
Chmerkovskiy further noted that he is not someone who is pleading for someone else’s safety “from a safe distance” but someone who is “about to go to a bomb shelter because sh*t is going down.”
The dancer also addressed Russia and said war should not be the solution to the ongoing crisis:
"In 2022's civilized world, this is not the way we do things… I think the Russians need to get up and actually say something, because no one's opinion is being heard.”
The TV star went on to say that he loves Ukraine and that he fell “back in love” with his birthplace after spending nearly six months “on-ground” in the country.
On Thursday night, Chmerkovskiy shared another set of updated videos on his Instagram stories and confirmed that he was safe amid the “tough and scary” situation.
He also mentioned that he was “packed and ready” to go to a hotel equipped with a bomb shelter but repeated that other citizens do not have access to similar comfort:
"The main thing is that I'm safe. But like I said, a lot of people are not, and this is very, very, very real, what's happening now.”
The performer also shared that he was “tensed” for being "blocks away" from a government building and noted that there will be more “bloodshed” if the situation continues to complicate:
"Ukrainians are gonna ... put up a huge fight. It's gonna be bloodshed. People here do not want this regime, whatever it is.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy was born in Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, in 1980 but immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1994.
Recently, he has been splitting his time between Kyiv and Los Angeles, where he lives with his family. The dancer reportedly returned to Ukraine to host the country's version of the World of Dance series.
Peta Murgatroyd requests netizens to pray for husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy's safety
Following Maksim Chmerkovskiy's updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, his wife Peta Murgatroyd asked his fans to pray for the dancer’s safety. She mentioned that her pain was “overwhelming” and she was “struggling” cope with the situation.
Murgatroyd asked her husband’s well-wishers to send their “positive light and love” to the dancer. She also confirmed that Chmerkovskiy was safe and said she hopes her husband will have a safe exit from the country.
Additionally, she also asked her followers to "pray for Ukraine and the innocent civilians” whose lives have been “greatly uprooted” due to the “unfathomable situation."
Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tied the knot in 2017 and have a five-year-old son, Shai. The family-of-three currently resides in Los Angeles, but the dancer shuttles between Ukraine and the U.S.