Maksim Chmerkovskiy Reunites with Peta Murgatroyd After Fleeing Ukraine
Maksim Chmerkovskiy is back in the United States, arriving in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
After landing at LAX airport, Maksim was greeted by his wife Peta Murgatroyd, who had been asking for prayers for his safety while he was in Ukraine during the invasion by Russia.
It was an emotional reunion for Maksim and Peta, who were photographed embracing each other!
Before flying back to Los Angeles, Maks posted an Instagram video from an airport in Poland. He said, "Getting in a plane. Talk to you from L.A."
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A day before their reunion, Peta shared a video on Instagram of a family photo with a candle burning in front of it. Peta wrote, “I rotated candles and never let them blow out for those 5 days. 24/7 @maksimc I cannot wait to be with you again.”
In another recent video, Chmerkovskiy is seen grappling with his emotions over leaving his home country after just reconnecting with it recently.
From his hotel in Warsaw, Chmerkovskiy reflected on everything that had transpired, saying he had been up for 36 hours straight.
“I’m scared, I’m confused, I’m terrified, and I just lived through some s--t that I’m going to need a lot of therapy for,” he said. “But I know this — it’s us little guys against the big guy. I don’t care how big [Russia’s Vladimir Putin] is. I don’t care how mean he is. When we’re together, I can see what can happen. We can have a little guy finally win and it will be a joint effort, and after that, we can figure out how to make sure that there’s never again one f--king person, one man, who can do whatever he’s doing.”
Opening up about his 23-hour train trip from Kyiv to Warsaw, he described it as something “out of a movie.”
He had previously shared that more than 100 people were packed into train cars that normally held 30. In his latest post, he went into further details.
“When the train car got packed and packed and it kept getting more and more packed, I was like, ‘Hold on.’ I’m thinking to myself, ‘There’s no air. There’s no way that we can travel [this way],’” he said.
He described how he stood on the train for hours, explaining, “I stood because I felt wrong leaving, I felt wrong being on that train, I still feel guilty being on that train. I took up space, probably.” He said he only took his backpack and tried to take up the least amount of room possible so more people could fit.
Chmerkovskiy, who moved to the U.S. in 1994, said he had a lot of time during the journey to ruminate on his feelings.
“I thought about it, my guilt,” he said. “I started to think about this and I came up with this analogy. In ’94, I was put up for adoption and I got adopted by a beautiful, young, vibrant, exciting, forward-thinking country and I fell in love, and I left Ukraine in ’94 [as] a sad, sad person because I felt like I was getting uprooted.”
He continued, “I was in this new country. But I turned around and said, ‘You know what? This is what I’m going to do.’ The 14-year-old Maks, with his family and all the love and support that he had, did stuff, and here we are.”
He said when he returned to Ukraine to film “Dancing with the Stars Ukraine,” he felt like he had reconnected with his birthplace, so he was having a “very f--king hard time leaving.”
The star added, “I’m having a horrible time. I’m having very mixed emotions,” he admitted. “I have my friends there, my friends on [the] front line... I can’t hear from some of the people. I can’t get in touch with them. I don’t know if they’re dead.”
Despite leaving, he vowed, “I’m going to need to figure out how to stay productive [and] what I can continue doing.”
The 42-year-old told his fans, “I love you all tremendously. I love that people are paying attention. I love the fact that it f--king chokes you a little bit inside. I love the fact that you get angry because you’re like, ‘This is wrong.’ You get angry because something is wrong and you maybe even want to do something about it. And when everybody does something about it, then it becomes everybody against one person, and that’s what needs to happen right now.”