Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started in mid-February 2022, “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancers have been outspoken about the conflict. Many of them are of Russian and/or Ukrainian descent, plus former pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy was stranded over there for a week while he was in Ukraine filming the Ukrainian version of “World of Dance.”
However, not every pro spoke up right away and they have since been harassed on social media about not saying anything. Artem Chigvintsev is one of the dancers who has received these comments. His latest Instagram post is full of people blasting him for not speaking up, including writing, “What a disgusting form of behavior.”
Artem has responded in his Instagram stories. Here is what he had to say.
Artem Said This Conflict Is ‘Very Real’ & Very Personal For Him Because of His Family
Artem is a Russian-born dancer and he said in his Instagram story statement that he is of course very worried about his family — his parents and brother still live in Russia. He also has has friends and family in Ukraine.
This hasn’t been easy to write and really gather my thoughts on the devastating situation that’s been happening right now in Ukraine.
I want to make very clear to everyone that I don’t support war of any kind. It’s devastating to see people die and suffer the costs.
I do have family and friends on both sides, Ukraine and Russia, and this situation [is] directly effecting me, so please don’t assume that I’m ignorant about it. I promise that I’m doing my best to support and donate to the organizations that [are] helping right now.
The thought of me not being able to see my mom, dad and brother are very real, the thought of my son never be[ing] able to be held by my parents are also very real.
Artem has a son, Matteo, who turns 2 in July. Matteo was born in the middle of 2020 and therefore Artem’s family has never met him because of global travel restrictions. In fact, Artem and his fiancee and former “Dancing With the Stars” partner Nikki Bella recently revealed they are thinking about getting married in Paris, France, because it would be easier for Artem’s parents to attend.
Artem Also Says He Doesn’t Owe Anyone Anything
In addition to telling his followers how real the Ukraine-Russia conflict is for him, he also made it very clear that he doesn’t think he owes anything to anyone.
Just because people don’t post about it doesn’t mean they don’t care. THere are many ways you can help.
I also want to add that no one owe[s] an explanation to anyone, about how they process and how they deal with it.
He is not the first “Dancing With the Stars” pro to express this thought. Daniella Karagach, who was born in the United States but whose parents are from the Soviet Union, explained to her followers that of course she has thoughts and feelings about what is happening in Ukraine but it is her decision when she will post on social media about it.
Daniella wrote on Instagram:
When our family is directly affected by this situation, and our relatives currently being in Ukraine, the last thing on my mind was to go on social media and post about it. Is it wrong for people to post and be vocal about it? NO! But I WILL DECIDE WHEN I POST AND SHARE my feelings on social media.
So before you attack people for “not posting,” think about your actions. Not everyone reacts the same way. Some people need time and space to figure out how to help and deal with these horrid times outside social media. As for me, I’ll keep praying for peace, praying for my family and friends. As for the people who think they know me, think before you speak and bully others around you just because you have a certain time frame you think people need to respond in. Spread love, not hate.
Gleb Savchenko was also being harassed on his Instagram posts from the live tour — which, by the way, wasn’t canceled when Russia invaded Ukraine. The dancers are still obligated to continue the “Dancing With the Stars” tour regardless of what is happening overseas.
But after being called “slimy” and all manner of other terrible things, Gleb took to his Instagram stories to speak out about the conflict as well.
Gleb, who is of both Russian and Ukrainian descent, wrote, “I have stayed silent not because I am unaware to what is happening, but because this is a very complicated and personal situation. I do not want to dive into politics. I want to say only this, that I want peace for all those involved. For humanity, what is happening is horrible.”
If you’d like to know how you can help the people of Ukraine, Maksim and his wife and fellow pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd have both pointed to Bethenny Frankel’s B Strong organization, which aids in humanitarian crises around the world. You can donate here.
“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.