Former “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy shared a tearful update with his followers as the fighting in Ukraine intensified overnight. He becomes emotional talking about how hard it is and how crazy things are outside. Here is what he said and what you can do to help.
Maks Said It’s Getting Hard To Keep His Head
In an emotional Instagram video, Maks filled in his friends and followers on what is happening. He is currently stranded in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital because he was there filming the Ukrainian “World of Dance,” on which he is a judge when the Russian invasion began. His wife, fellow professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd, and their son, Shai, are back in Los Angeles, California.
While fighting back emotions, Maks relayed to his followers:
I’m in a very safe place, but this is nuts. I think everybody’s going through a lot of emotions and I think it’s time that I sort of expose mine a little bit in a more personal manner.
I’m safe … but I’m also right in the eye of the storm with an insane proximity to where this is all supposed to come to an end, if ever. This is a war. This is a crazy situation, it’s insane and I’m losing my final little things. This is not a cry for help, I’m a big boy, I can handle myself, and as I said, I’m safe, but I’m starting to not be able to just, sort of, um, keep my head. I’m trying to stay focused and just try to let my voice be heard.
This is not about me. I’m being very serious. It’s not about me. … I just want everybody to do something, anything. I understand and I was that person and we are all that people — if you’re not in the situation, you don’t see it. F***. You make a post, you go about your day. I’m not asking for anything else, just a post. I think it’ll go a long way.
He went on to say that what his small country of Ukraine is doing is “making [him] so proud,” even as the fighting grows closer to where he is in Kyiv.
The Washington Post reports that overnight on February 26-27, Russian forces entered Kharkiv, which is the second-largest city in Ukraine after Kyiv. The Post says there was “back-and-forth rocket firing during battle for control of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv. Ukraine maintained control of the capital, Kyiv, as air raid sirens sounded and residents sheltered underground.”
This echoed what Maks said in his video where he tried to give his fans in the U.S. some perspective about how close this all is.
“The entire country is the size of New Jersey, metaphorically speaking, so it’s not far [away]. The city of Kharkiv, where the biggest fighting is, one of the hottest zones is Kharkiv and it’s damn-near leveled. We hear it, it’s incredibly close. … This is all happening at once, everywhere,” said Maks.
Maksim Is Imploring People to Help
Maks asked his followers to “direct your attention to humanitarian services,” which is a great way to help. He name-checked Bethenny Frankel’s efforts — her organization B Strong is currently helping refugees at the border between Ukraine and Poland.
“Bethenny Frankel is doing a great job. Thank you, Beth. I love you,” said Maks.
He also asked that any of his fellow dancers who are in Eastern Europe, if they have a car they should head to the border because it is becoming mired in people who have no transportation. He said efforts are being coordinated by a dancer named Andra Vaidilaite and in his Instagram stories, he offered more details.
“The situation at the border with Poland is critical. Some crossings are blocked because Poland isn’t letting anyone in until those who already crossed leaves. People are waiting to get picked up and that created huge blocks on both sides! Please get in any ride and drive away from the border, so others can cross!” said Maks, adding that his fellow dancers should remember back when they were all struggling to make it and would sleep on anyone’s floor or any place that would help them. He asked them to pay that kindness back and try to help the refugees who have nowhere to go.
He finished by saying, “The reality is I just wanna go home at this point. I’m just hoping for safe ending to it all and that’s it.”