Maksim Chmerkovskiy has provided fans with a fresh update… of a truly horrifying situation.
The Dancing With the Stars professional is currently in Kyiv, Ukraine, taking shelter in his native country amid violent aggression from neighboring Russia, which declared unprompted war on Ukraine early Thursday morning.
“There’s ALWAYS another way! WAR is NEVER an answer!” Chmerkovskiy wrote in a caption to the first video he posted from this city yesterday, adding at the time:
“P.S. I will never be the same. 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.
On Friday, meanwhile, with air raid sirens blaring in the background, Chmerkovskiy uploaded a second video to his Instagram page.
“I’m safe, I’m really really, I promise, as safe as I can be,” the dancer said, panning the camera to show military personnel running through the mostly-deserted streets.
“A lot of people are asking if I’m making out. I’m not currently trying to leave, I’m staying here. I’m going to do my best to make sure I’m as safe as possible.
“I’m not moving towards the border currently. I heard it’s not safe. I made a decision not try to go right now.”
Chmerkovskiy said he wants to reunite with his loved ones, but simply cannot do so right now.
He expressed concerns for many of his friends who are trying to flee for the Polish border, and also explained that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has declared martial law across the entire nation, mobilizing its 36,000 military reserves — and even calling on civilians to take up arms.
Zelenskyy has banned all men aged 18-60 from leaving the country.
“People are being mobilized, the whole country is being called to go to war,” he said.
“Men, women, boys, these people that I was judging some days ago in dance competitions, are going forward and getting guns and getting deployed to defend the country.”
Chmerkovskiy is married to fellow Dancing with the Stars pro Peta Murgatroyd, who took to her own social media account on Thursday and wrote:
“I don’t usually ask these things from my social media network.
“However, today is extremely hard and the next few days will be even harder.
“My pain is overwhelming and I’m struggling, but you sending your positive light and love to him would be the world to me. Truly, I wish for nothing more.”
For his part, Chmerkovskiy continued as follows this afternoon:
“To all the incredible men and women of the Ukrainian armed forces, and to the… they’ve called the mobilization of everyone, so anybody aged 18 to whatever, they can’t leave the country.
“So now it’s extended to everyone. It’s coming to the point where women are going to start joining and enlisting — and they are.
“This is not an army versus an army while the ‘civilians’ are sitting by and watching. This is civilians, in regular clothes, in regular cars, are getting into military outfits, grabbing guns and going to the front lines.
“This is real.”
“This nation is not giving up,” Chmerkovskiy added of Ukraine. “They’re gonna be fighting… this is gonna get really bad. This is gonna get really bad.”
To close, he had one final message to the Russian propagandists:
“If anybody out there thinks that Ukraine is doing it to itself, you’re f–king misinformed and you need to check your sources. In the case of Russians, you need to check your leadership.
“Your leadership is rotten and they are lying to you.”