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Maksim Chmerkovskiy offers update from Kyiv: 'Right in the eye of the storm'

The "Dancing With the Stars" pro has been sharing updates on social media from Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine last week.

Former “Dancing with the Stars” pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy is sharing another update from Kyiv.

On Sunday, February 27, Chmerkovskiy posted a nearly 12-minute long Instagram Live where he spoke candidly about the events happening around him. The professional dancer, who was in Ukraine to judge a televised dance competition, emphasized that he was safe, but was visibly emotional as he tried to come to terms with the Russian invasion of his home country.

“I’m very safe, probably the most safest place I can find in this entire thing,” he explained. “But I’m also right in the eye of the storm, within insane proximity to where this is all supposed to come to an end, if ever. This is a war. This is a crazy situation, it’s insane and I’m losing my final little things. This is not a cry for help, I’m a big boy, I can handle myself and as I said, I’m safe. But I’m starting to not be able to see my head, so I’m trying to stay focused and just trying to let my voice be heard.”

Chmerkovskiy urged people around the world to take action and do anything they could to help Ukraine. Even something as simple as sharing a post to spread news could make a difference, he said.

“I’m a witness to how one 'Big Brother' country is not allowed to voice its opinion,” Chmerkovskiy said. “Regardless of the fact, please make your voice be heard and just spread the word that this needs to pause. Stop the shooting. Tonight was nuts. Right now, it’s insane.”

The 42-year-old shared how even when there is relative peace in one area, due to the size of the country, they can still experience the ripple affects of attacks elsewhere.

“This is all happening at once, everywhere,” he added. “That’s all I wanted to say, promise. This was a rant and I appreciate everybody and everything. Keep spreading the word, keep talking about this. Please direct your attention to humanitarian services.”

Earlier on Sunday, Chmerkovskiy shared a message on his Instagram Stories — which he then posted as a Reel — directed at the dance community and urging them to do their part. He drew comparisons from tough times as a dancer competing internationally with “zero money in your pocket” and seeking shelter wherever they could, whether it was in an attic or in a “shady hotel.”

“You know what I’m talking about? Multiply that by a million and imagine that you’re running away from a war and you have nowhere to go,” he said. “Get in the car. All of you. I’m begging you from the Eastern European bloc, get in your car, drive to Polish border and get somebody and bring them home or bring them to a hotel and pay for them for a couple of nights … This is important.”

On Saturday, Chmerkovskiy shared a series of Instagram Stories from a parking garage, which was serving as a bomb shelter at the time.

“I’m safe. I’m in a bomb shelter, but Kyiv is under serious attack from what I understand, from what I heard and we had a crazy alarm so we all ran downstairs,” he said. “Anyway. I’m not going to be speaking just for the sake of speaking. As soon as I know something concrete that I check out, I will throw it on my on my feed. So stay tuned, but just pray for Ukraine.”

On Thursday, February 24, Chmerkovskiy shared his first update in a series of videos from Ukraine after Russia began attacks on the country. In the videos, sirens blared in the background as he talked about his own family, and the families around him.

“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 said in a video. “What I’m realizing is that my friends whose kids are here, whose moms, dads are here, and elderly people are here, they can’t just escape.”

The next day, the native Ukrainian shared additional updates about the escalating situation. In one video, he explained that he was not actively trying to leave and would be staying put for the time being.

In another clip, Chmerkovskiy confirmed his safety and said that they had not been told to move, so he was “just following instructions.”

“But the reality is that I’m also talking to my friends that are here, the Ukrainians, and the situation is pretty dire,” he said. “People have been mobilized. The whole country has been called to go to war. Men, women, boys ... There’s people that I was judging some days ago, in dance competitions, that are going forward and getting guns and getting deployed to defend the country.”

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