Dancing with the Stars alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy shared details on the “stressful” situation in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after Russian forces invaded the eastern European country on Thursday.
The Ukrainian-born champion ballroom dancer uploaded several videos to Instagram as sirens blared in the background.
The caption of his first video began, “There’s always another way! War is ever an answer!”
“This is stressful and I’m getting old feelings back, like I’ve done this before. This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD I’ve finally fixed is coming back,” Chmerkovskiy continued.
“I’m in Kyiv, contrary to what I probably should’ve done a while ago,” he said in the video, “and not that no one saw this coming, but everybody was hoping that the finality of this situation would be averted, that there wasn’t going to be these kind of aggressive measures.”
He also shared a video of families in the Ukrainian capital walking with suitcases and bags to flee the capital city.
In a second video, Chmerkovskiy said, “Honestly I’m getting really emotional. It’s been a little difficult — you know me, I stay strong and I don’t show it — but I want to go back home and I realize that I have the way to — I realize that I have a different passport, and my family is far away.”
He went on to talk about his friends in Ukraine who have families and can’t leave the country as easily as he can.
He then asked any Russian viewers to stand up against President Vladimir Putin.
“In 2022’s civilized world, this is not the way we do things,” he said in the video. “I think the Russians need to get up and actually say something, because no one’s opinion is being heard. This is all one man’s ambition of something, and however convenient it sounds in Moscow, however comfortable you are where you are in Russia, I just don’t think this is the right thing.”
In an Instagram Story a few hours after his videos were posted, the professional dancer said he was “safe” and that he has “great options,” including telling his followers he is packed and the hotel he is staying at has a bomb shelter.
Chmerkovskiy was in his home country to film the reality competition series World of Dance UA, his representative told CNN.
The rep added that Chmerkovskiy’s wife, fellow DWTS cast member Peta Murgatroyd, and their 5-year-old son Shai are not with him in the country.
Chmerkovskiy and his younger brother Valentin Chmerkovskiy came to the U.S. with their family in the 1990s from Ukraine.
Watch Maksim’s gripping video below:
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