Dancing With the Stars' Maksim Chmerkovskiy had recently returned to his home country to judge Ukraine's World of Dance series. After Russia invaded, he, alongside millions of Ukrainian citizens, was forced to flee from their homes.
Chmerkovskiy has been documenting his experience throughout the invasion via his Instagram. The original video shows the first air raid sirens in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, as Chmerkovskiy pled for peace.
During his attempt to leave the country, he was reportedly detained in Ukraine on Monday. He did not share the reason behind the arrest, but stated,
"That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me, it was just a reality check."
He then told fans that he was boarding a train to Warsaw, Poland--a twenty three hour train ride he experienced going on thirty-six hours without sleep.
"The situation at the train station is insane. At first it feels manageable but it gets a lot worse when it comes time to actually board the train. Long story but all I can say now is that I’m a big man with nothing but a backpack and it’s traumatizing.”
From there, Chmerkovskiy was able to board a plane. Originally meant to seat around thirty people, he claims they had to fit over one hundred. He eventually landed in LA, where he was reunited with his wife in a heartfelt video. He only commented,
"I just don't want to resent peace somewhere else because of what I just saw, that's the reality. I don't know really what to say right this second."
It is unclear how Chmerkovskiy was able to leave the country, as all men between the ages of eighteen and sixty have been ordered to stay for the national draft.
His is another tragic story among the millions who have been forced to uproot their lives, the rest of whom do not have an LA home to return to. As Chmerkovskiy said in his first video,
"And what I'm realizing is that my friends, whose kids are here and whose moms, dads are here—and elderly people are here, and they can't just escape."
The whole world stands united against Russia and Putin's senseless and destructive invasion. For more context on the conflict and updates from Maks, check out Celebrity Page's coverage of the beginning of the invasion. Slava Ukraini.
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