Ukrainian-born “Dancing With The Stars” favorite Maks Chmerkovskiy has been documenting his experience from a hotel in the country’s capital Kyiv, as Russian forces began invading the country.
“Contrary to what I probably should’ve done a while ago … and not that no one saw this coming, but everybody was hoping that the finality of this situation would be averted, that there wasn’t going to be these kind of aggressive measures,” Chmerkovskiy said in a video on Thursday afternoon.
Military sirens blared as the dancer, who has been with the ABC hit show since 2006, shared a video from his balcony. In a second video, he said “It’s been a little difficult” to see the situation unfold in his native country.
“The main thing is that I’m safe. But like I said, a lot of people are not, and this is very, very, very real, what’s happening now,” he said in another post. “I’m packed, I’m ready, my hotel has a bomb shelter. We can go there now, but the few of us decided to maybe wait until we hear the sirens and then we’ll be down there.”
The dancer remarked that the “reality” of the situation is “exactly what it looks like on TV,” and that there’s a full on military situation going on in other cities.
While he was “feeling very tense” about being so close to the capitol building, he has faith in his countrymen’s ability to resist the Russians. “Ukrainians are gonna … put up a huge fight. It’s gonna be bloodshed. People here do not want this regime, whatever it is,” he added.
Chmerkovskiy’s wife, fellow “Dancing With The Stars” alum Peta Murgatroyd, asked her social media followers to pray for her husband.
“I don’t usually ask these things from my social media network, however today is extremely hard and the next few will be even harder,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Many of you are asking for details and I don’t have the answers, but yes, he is safe right now. Please pray that he comes home soon. Please pray that he has a swift, safe exit,” she asked.