He pleaded with the Russian people to ignore the propaganda at the start of the invasion.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy issued a moving appeal to the Russian people from the Ukrainian capital.
The DWTS pro is currently filming ‘World of Dance Ukraine’ in Kyiv – where he found himself on Thursday morning when Vladimir Putin’s shock decision to invade his neighbor began.
“I’m not a social media guy in times of personal hardship, and this isn’t the time I would normally post anything on social media…but yeah, I’m here. I’m in Kyiv. Unlike to what I probably should have done a while ago,” he said in a video posted to Instagram, filmed from the rooftop of his hotel.
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“Everyone has their sources. I trust my sources. And no one saw this coming…not that no one saw this coming, but everyone was hoping that the finality of this situation would be avoided, that ‘there wouldn’t be that kind of aggression, that kind of aggressive action.”
In the background, sirens blared, as he turned his camera to show military vehicles and ambulances rushing through the streets.
“It’s military,” he said, pointing a few blocks away. “It’s the center of Kiev, right there.”
In a second video, Chmerkovskiy became even more emotional as he shared his realization that while he has the resources to flee to safety, many of his compatriots do not.
“Honestly, I get very emotional, it’s been a bit difficult…you know me, you know me, I stay strong, and I don’t show it but…I want to go home,” he said. -he declares. , his voice cracking. “And I realize I have the way, you know? I realize I have a different passport and my family is far away.”
“And what I realize is that my friends, whose children are here, whose mothers and fathers are here, and old people are here, and they can’t just escape, you know ?”
He then made a direct appeal to the Russian people, begging them to ignore the propaganda claiming that the Ukrainian people are their enemy.
“Dear Russians, I know you know me. And I know there are a lot of people in Russia right now who are watching this, watching the news, and hearing the propaganda, and hearing this complete nonsense that has been talked about,” he said.
“I’m not at this point someone who’s pleading for someone else’s safety from a distance, from a safe distance. I’m someone who’s about to walk into an air raid shelter because shit happens.”
“I think in the civilized world of 2022, that’s not how we do things. I think as a powerful, forward-thinking nation, not a third world country, I think the Russians have to stand up and actually say something, because nobody’s opinion is heard.
The invasion, he said, was “all one man’s ambition”.
“Whatever it may sound, as convenient as it may seem in Moscow, as comfortable as you are where you are in Russia, I just don’t think it’s the right thing, and these are the right steps, and this are the good deeds,” he continued.
“I’m uncomfortable, I’m very scared. The words are… I don’t know what words to use. But at least I know I have a chance – I have a passport and I have a way out. a lot of people here don’t. And that’s fucking nonsense.
The dance professional, who was born in Ukraine when it was still part of the Soviet Socialist Republic, said he fell in love with his country all over again during his last six months filming there.
“I never fell in love – but now I know who these people are. Now I know who this country is. What it stands for. What it stands for. Russian people to justify this invasion,” he said.
He also asked people to respect his family in the US and not bombard his wife Peta Murgatroyd with messages.
“I will do my best to keep people informed,” he promised. “I’m not a journalist, I have absolutely no reason to do this, other than I just want someone else’s opinion, because the news is crazy. The news is crazy and the reporting has been crazy.”
Maksim also shared heartbreaking footage of what appeared to be families taking what they could carry and joining those heading west for safety.
“I will never be the same again,” he wrote in his Instagram post. “It’s stressful and I’m rediscovering old feelings, like I’ve done before. It feels like when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD which I finally fixed come back .”
“I literally just forgot about those ‘always on edge’ feelings and started worrying about things like barbecues. I’m crying writing this because every man deserves to worry about ‘barbecues’ and not f- -king war. Embrace your loved ones.
In an Instagram story update, Maksim acknowledged that he scared a lot of people with his post fearing for his safety; he assured them he was safe at the moment and had options – “I think”.
He said the hotel’s bomb shelter was open and guests could take shelter there now; he was packed and ready to race, but waited “until we hear the sirens, then I’ll be in there”.
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