Maks Chmerkovskiy Reveals Plan to Leave Ukraine After Getting Arrested
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Maksim Chmerkovskiy got arrested in Ukraine, and he is now telling fans the experience was a “reality check” for him. He later revealed he had made it onto a train to Warsaw, Poland.
The “Dancing with the Stars” pro was in Kyiv, and regularly posting about what he was seeing and hearing from the heart of the city as Russia attacked.
Maks appeared to be standing outside on a city street in his latest video, telling fans there was “just a lot of fighting everywhere, streets are crazy.”
He went on, “At one point I got arrested, a foot outside of here, but again all good, promise.” Maks insisted, “That was probably the least traumatizing moment of this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me it was just a reality check, no matter what it is or how it is, it was a crazy reality check. There is a lot to unpack. I’m not in a mental state right now to do so, I’m just trying to stay focused.”
Posting on Instagram Stories, he told his followers, "I made it on the train. We’re heading to Warsaw (hopefully). Train to Lviv was not an option. 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 it’s TRAUMATIZING."
He added, "Currently I’m in a cabin with 4 adults and 7 kids (ages 2 to 11) which usually is only occupied by max 3 people. There’s usually up to 30 people in this particular wagon. We were told w have to fit 135. Walkways are packed. People everywhere. It’s sweaty and claustrophobic."
Maks explained, "What finally broke me is when I was watching an eight-ish-year-old boy, hysterically crying and not wanting to let go of his father. Verbatim: ‘If you stay I want to stay too because if they sell you I won’t be able to help.’”
Chmerkovskiy had talked about his plans to leave Ukraine in his earlier video, saying, “I am going to try to make my way out,” he shared. “I am going to try to start getting toward the border. I have options, my options are better than most people’s, unfortunately.”
He admitted, “I’m just a little nervous to be honest with you. But I think it is going to be alright, I know it is going to be okay, so I’m going to try to keep you posted through this process if I can.”
Maks went on, “I just want a favor from everybody… just don’t panic if I kind of disappear for a minute… I’m not answering a lot of text and a lot of calls, mostly I just talk to Peta [Murgatroyd], my parents and my brother… if I disappear for a little bit just don’t worry.”
He also gave an update on a friend he had mentioned during a previous post. The woman was making her way from Kyiv to the Polish border. Maks said it took her 17 hours to get from Kyiv to the Ukrainian town of Lviv and now she’s still waiting to get to the border.
The dancer explained, “From Lviv to Poland is nothing, it is very little distance. She still has not made it to the Polish border she has been on a bus for the last two days, slowly crawling to get close to it… she said the entire route from Lviv to Polish border in every direction there are volunteers constantly feeding and giving food and hot drinks and all of that. During the night it is cold… they turned off the engine to save gas and there is no heat.”
Maks was sharing updates over the weekend, too, and even took time to send a message to his former “DWTS” partner Kirstie Alley.
While others have taken a hard line against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Alley raised eyebrows with her "fake news"-powered tweet on the topic. On Friday, the "Fat Actress" and "Cheers" star wrote, "I don't know what's real or what is fake in this war. So I won't be commenting. I'll pray instead."
The sidelines approach did not sit well with many commenters, most prominently Maksim.
He responded to her, writing, "Dear Kirstie, We haven't spoken in a while, but I clearly remember being right next to you while you were organizing trucks of aid during hurricane Sandy and I remember all that you were saying to me about situations where innocent are suffering."
He went on to forcefully tell her, "That same energy is needed right now."
Revealing that her words must have stung him, he ended with, "No one needs your prayer if you don't know what's real or fake."
Chmerkovskiy, 42, and Alley, 71, were partnered on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2012.
For information on how to help those suffering in Ukraine and elsewhere, visit RedCross.org.