Maksim Chmerkovskiy Arrives in Poland After ‘Traumatizing’ Train Ride from Ukraine
“Dancing with the Stars” alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy has safely made it from Ukraine to Poland!
Maks shared the news on Instagram Stories this morning, writing, “I am in Poland,” and sharing, “31 hours no sleep, 1.5 hours to arrival.”
The dance pro had been in Kyiv at the time Russia launched its attack, regularly posting about what he was seeing and hearing from the heart of the city. Yesterday, Chmerkovskiy began documenting his journey out of Ukraine by train, calling it “traumatizing.”
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 we 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.’”
He followed up with a video from his journey, telling followers, “I am at a station about 30 minutes before the border with Poland and they stopped to change the wheels – you can’t make this up – on the train and I am going to the bathroom,” he then panned over to the restrooms, saying, “and this is it, wish me luck.” Chmerkovskiy followed up with a photo from inside the bathroom, which amounted to holes in the floor.
In past videos, Chmerkovskiy had talked about his plans to leave Ukraine. He had been arrested and called it a “reality check.”
Maks said, “I am going to try to make my way out. 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.”