Dancing With the Stars” favorite Maksim Chmerkovskiy announced on Instagram in a video post that he will attempt to leave Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. Chmerkovskiy, who was born in the Ukraine city of Odessa, was in his home country ahead of the Russian invasion working on a project titled “World of Dance UA.” In the days since Russia invaded Ukraine, Chmerkovskiy has used Instagram to keep fans updated on his safety in the country. In a Feb. 28 video post, the dancer said he was arrested in the streets and is now preparing to get to the border to leave Ukraine.

“There’s a lot of fighting everywhere,” Chmerkovskiy said in the video recorded on his cellphone. “Streets are crazy. At one point I got arrested… but all good, promise. That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me it was just a reality check… a crazy reality check.”

Chmerkovskiy did not provide additional details about the arrest, but he did tell fans, “I’m going to try to make my way out, start trying to get close to the border… I’m just trying to stay focused. I have options. My options are better than most people’s, unfortunately. I’m a little nervous to be honest with you, but I think it’s going to be all right. Well, I know it’s going to be okay.”

“If I disappear for a little bit please don’t worry,” Chmerkovskiy added, telling his fans not to “panic” if they don’t hear from him on social media for a bit.

Chmerkovskiy is married to fellow “Dancing With the Stars” pro Peta Murgatroyd. The couple have a 5-year-old son together and live in Los Angeles. Watch Chmerkovskiy’s full message in his video post below.


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