Maks Chmerkovskiy is in Ukraine amid an invasion by Russia that has left hundreds of civilians dead. The former “Dancing With the Stars” pro was born and raised in Ukraine, and has been in the country for work.
According to Us Weekly, Maks is a judge on “Dancing With the Stars” Ukraine, and he and his brother, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, own two dance studios in the region. When things started to escalate, Maks was told that it was safe for him to stay. Now, however, he is stuck in Ukraine, unable to leave. Since the unrest began, Maks has been sharing updates on his Instagram account.
“My parents fled this country for this exact reason. Not because it wasn’t good to them, but because their kids would see war eventually. It’s a cruel irony that 28 years later my brother is in a bombshelter in Kiev. If they hadn’t left, I would be on the front lines defending my home right now. And the most heartbreaking thing of all I would be either killing or dying at the hands of my fellow brothers,” Val’s post read, in part.
“Things I couldn’t imagine are some people’s reality. Praying for Maks and peace,” Matt wrote on his Instagram Stories.
Here’s what you need to know:
Maks Is Not Leaving Ukraine
At the present time, Maks does not have any plans to leave Ukraine because it’s not safe for him to do so.
“I’m safe. We haven’t been told to move and I’m just following instructions. That’s all I can say,” he said in an Instagram video uploaded on February 25, 2022. “People are being mobilized. The whole country’s been called to go to war. Men, women, boys, these people that I was judging some days ago in dance competitions, are going forward and getting guns and getting deployed to defend the country,” he said.
Despite pleas from his family, especially his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, Maks isn’t planning on approaching the border or trying to leave his home country.
“I’m not currently trying to leave. I’m staying here. I’m gonna do my best to make sure I’m as safe as possible, but I am not moving towards the border currently,” he said.
Maks Expects Things to Get Worse Before They Get Better
In a series of videos posted to his Instagram Stories on February 26, 2022, Maks revealed that they expect things to escalate over the next 24 hours, a time period that Maks called “crucial.”
“Once again, I’m not a military advisor… but it seems like the Ukrainians are making a pretty dramatic stance,” Maks said, explaining that he’s heard that people in Ukraine are planning an “offensive” attack.
“There’s got to be a way to pause it and continue talking — for as long as it takes,” Maks said. “That’s my wish,” he added.
“To all my friends and colleagues and everybody else, let’s just be as loud as we can,” Maks said, encouraging people to talk about what’s going on.
“It is not your fight. Until it is,” he said. “I don’t want to be dramatic, but I don’t feel safe in my distant Malibu if Ukraine falls under this situation,” he continued.