Artem Chigvintsev has broken his silence on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russian-born Dancing with the Stars pro took to his Instagram Stories on Wednesday (March 9) to condemn the catastrophic events unfolding near his homeland, where he still has family and friends residing.
“This hasn’t been easy to write and really gather my thoughts on the devastating situation that’s been happening right now in Ukraine,” the dancer began. “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.” He continued, “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 organization that helping right now.”
Artem, who shares 1-year-old son Matteo with fiancé Nikki Bella, also spoke about why he has kept silent since the upheaval began. “Just because People don’t post about it doesn’t mean they don’t care there are many ways you can help,” he explained. “I also want to add that no one owes an explanation to anyone, about how they process and how they deal with it.”
He concluded, “The thought of me not being able to see my mom, dad and brother are very real, the thought of my son need be able to be held by my parents are also very real.”
Artem isn’t the only DWTS pro who is greatly affected by the invasion, as Maksim Chmerkovskiy recently arrived back in the U.S. after having fled his homeland of Ukraine, joining the hundreds of thousands of refugees who left the country. At one point during the dangerous flight, Maksim said he was even arrested. Maks reunited with his wife Peta Murgatroyd at an airport when he landed in the U.S. on March 2.
Meanwhile, Artem’s comments come after a slew of celebrities have also been candid about their feelings on the crisis. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis announced that they would match up to $3 million in donations to relief funds for Mila’s home country of Ukraine. “While we are witnessing the bravery of Ukrainians, we are also bearing witness to the unimaginable burden of those who have chosen safety,” Ashton and Mila said in an Instagram video post. “Through GoFundMe, this fundraiser will provide an immediate impact on refugee and humanitarian aid efforts.”
Russian supermodel Irina Shayk threw her support behind Ukraine in the ongoing invasion of the country by her homeland. Fellow Eastern European model Milla Jovovich got emotional in her social media post reacting to the news, as she has ties to both countries. And Hayden Panettiere, who shares a child with Ukranian boxer Wladimir Klitschko, posted, “I ask for those of us who can’t be there to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and show your support for #democracy.”