Maks Chmerkovskiy of Dancing with the Stars says, after a traumatic experience in the Ukraine, he was able to safely board a train heading to Warsaw, Poland. The latest update comes after the Ukrainian-born DWTS star was arrested trying to leave his native country.
A few hours after his first video saying he was arrested, Maks gave his followers an update via Instagram story.
“I made it on the train. We’re headed to Warsaw (Poland) hopefully,” Maks wrote.
“The situation at the train station is insane,” he continued. “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 a backpack[,] it’s TRAUMATIZING.”
The DWTS star went on: “Currently I’m in a [train] cabin with four adults and seven kids, which is usually only occupied by a maximum of three people. There’s usually up to 30 people on this particular wagon. We were told we’ll have to fit 135.”
“Walkways are packed,” he added. “People everywhere. It’s sweaty and claustrophobic.”
Maks Chmerkovskiy Arrested in Ukraine
Maks Chmerkovskiy, 42 said in an emotional video message on Instagram early Monday that he was briefly detained by Russian soldiers while trying to find a way out of the country. The TV star did not say why he was arrested, or how long he was in custody before his release.
“[There’s] a lot of fighting everywhere. Streets are crazy. At one point I got arrested. […] But [I’m] all good, promise,” he told his 1.1 million followers in the video.
“That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me, it was a reality check.”
At the time the video was posted, Maks Chmerkovskiy was still in Kyiv. He warned his followers that his social media feed will likely go dark in the days ahead as he tries to find a way out of the country.
In the five-minute video, Maks did not dwell on his arrest. He said he’s concentrating on evacuating the country and is still trying to find a way to the Polish border, some 465 miles west of Kyiv.
“What finally broke me is when I was watching an 8-year-old boy hysterically crying and not wanting to let go of his father,” Maks said. “Verbatim: ‘If you stay I want to stay too because if they kill you I won’t be able to help.’”
Peta Murgatroyd Thanks Well-Wishers
He is married to fellow Dancing With the Stars alum Peta Murgatroyd, with whom he has a 5-year-old son named Shea.
According to Page Six, Maks traveled back to his native country to film a reality competition series called World of Dance UA. Neither Peta nor Shai are with Maks in Ukraine.
The dancer’s wife posted a heartfelt message to his followers on Instagram Sunday, thanking them for their support.
“Thank you to EVERYONE who has reached out, whether it be by text/calls/DM’s/email/comments/street/post office,” she wrote. “People I haven’t spoken to in 15 years have found me on social just to pray for me. It’s beyond and it means the world to me.”