Maksim Chmerkovskiy has shared new updates from his native Ukraine amidst the conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Dancing with the Stars pro, 42, posted two videos to Instagram on Friday, February 25 from a bomb shelter in the capital city of Kyiv, which has come under attack by Russian troops. Maks said that while he’s currently “safe” in the Eastern European country, he’s learning from fellow Ukrainians that “the situation is pretty dire.”
“People are being mobilized, the whole country is being called to go to war,” he explained. “Men, women, boys, people that I was judging some days ago, are going forward and getting guns and getting employed to defend the country.”
The famous dancer went on, “I don’t represent everybody, again I’m not reporting the news. I’m just saying from my experience, people that I’m talking to are very aggressively charged. This is gonna be tough. If it’s not resolved in a peaceful manner in some way or form in the next day or so, I think it’s gonna take a turn for very much more aggressive actions and a lot more casualties.” Maks also said that “kids are getting sick” as citizens, like himself, shelter to stay safe from the escalating situation.
In a second video, Maks clarified that he has no plans to leave Ukraine at the moment. “I’m not currently trying to leave. I’m staying here, I’m gonna do my best to be as safe as possible,” he said. “I’m not moving towards the border currently. I heard it’s not safe and unfortunately some of my friends are on the road to Polish border. But they’re also reporting its quite dangerous and there’s a lot of senseless activity going on outside of war stuff. But I made a decision not to try and go right now. I’m just going to be here.”
Maks first spoke out about the current crisis Ukraine is enduring on Feb. 24, the day of Russia’s invasion. “There’s ALWAYS another way! WAR is NEVER an answer!” he exclaimed in the caption of a passionate video he uploaded to Instagram. In another video, he delved more into the current status of the country. “I’m uneasy. I’m very scared,” he told fans in the video. “I have a passport, and I have a way out. A lot of people here do not, and it’s f**king nonsense.”
His brother Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy and wife Peta Murgatroyd have also given updates on how Maks is doing in Ukraine. Val revealed that his sibling is hiding in a bomb shelter, while Peta asked fans to “please pray” for her husband, as well as the people of Ukraine.