“Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Gleb Savchenko has weighed in on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a person of both Russian and Ukrainian heritage, he says it’s a very “personal situation.” Read on for his comments and how he was getting blasted on social media about not speaking out on the conflict.
Gleb Said Russia Invading Ukraine Is ‘A Very Complicated and Personal Situation’ For Him
In the two weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, “Dancing With the Stars” has been in the news a lot because former professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy was stranded in Ukraine while filming the Ukrainian version of “World of Dance.” Fans have been wondering how the rest of the “Dancing With the Stars” pros feel about everything that is happening because many of them are of Russian or Ukrainian descent — in fact, some fans have been getting very aggressive about it online, demanding in Gleb Savchenko’s Instagram comments that he weigh in on the conflict.
Gleb happens to be both Russian and Ukrainian and he took to his Instagram stories on March 8 to share his thoughts on what is happening in Ukraine.
I have taken the time to collect my thoughts on the current situation in Russia and the Ukraine.
My great-grandfather and my grandfather were both born in Poltava, Ukraine. My surname is Ukrainian. My great-grandfather fought for the USSR in WWII against the Nazis. My family on my father’s side still lives in Ukraine. The rest of my family lives in Russia.
My dad grew up in Russia where he met and married my mother. I grew up in Russia. My parents still live in Crimea, an area at risk as the situation evolves. My love for both lands run deep and this situation is truly heartbreaking.
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.
Gleb finished his thoughts by asking his fans to “please know that [he is] dealing with this privately,” but that his silence “does not mean that my heart is not breaking for those involved,” which include his friends, his family and “people on both sides of the conflict.”
Fans Were Blasting Him For Not Speaking Up
On Gleb’s most recent Instagram post, which was a video of him performing on the “Dancing With the Stars” live tour, fans were criticizing Gleb for posting such a “tone deaf” video while Ukraine was being invaded and Maksim was stranded over there.
“Why are you and all the Russian colleagues staying silent on an issue when one of your fellow [Ukrainian] brother’s life is on the line?” wrote one follower.
Another added, “Where is your support for the Ukrainian people and your good friend Maks who is stuck ‘in the eye of the storm.'”
“We don’t want to see you dancing and enjoying life like there is nothing more important going on right now. Use your voice, use your platform and stand up for what’s right,” wrote a third fan.
“This feel gross to be posting, especially given your silence on Ukraine,” wrote another, and a fifth person added, “Just lost all respect for you. How could you post such a tone deaf video when your country’s dictator has created a humanitarian crisis?!!! Speak up!!!”
Another fan said, “You have always come off as slimy, this just proves it.”
Just a note — the “Dancing With the Stars” live tour was not canceled when the invasion of Ukraine started. The pros are still contractually obligated to participate for the remaining weeks and part of their job is promoting the tour on social media. Plus, as pro Daniella Karagach pointed out, the pros do not owe anyone their comments about the situation.
Daniella wrote in an Instagram post:
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.
“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been picked up for season 31. If it does get renewed, it should premiere in September 2022.