Maks Chmerkovskiy has finally escaped the conflict in Ukraine after a harrowing 23-hour train ride to Warsaw, Poland.
In the latest update from the DWTS alum, he explained the “insane” situation unfolding in Ukraine just before boarding a flight from Warsaw headed to Los Angeles.
Maks Chmerkovskiy Is On a Plane Out of Europe But He Says the Journey to This Point Has Deeply Impacted Him.
Chmerkovskiy, who was in Kyiv when Russia invaded Ukraine, has been sharing updates with his fans as he desperately tries to escape. In a new 26-minute video shared on Instagram, the TV personality explained how the entire experience has changed him.
“I’m scared, I’m confused, I’m terrified and I just lived through some s*** that I’m going to need a lot of therapy for,” Chmerkovskiy says in the video. “But I know this: it’s us little guys against the big guy. I don’t care how big [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****** person, one man, who can do whatever he’s doing.”
The train voyage from Ukraine to Poland found Chmerkovskiy crowded into a train car that was filled beyond capacity with others trying to escape to safety. He recounted his experience in the video and compared it to a scene “out of a movie.”
“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,” he said of the travel conditions which found him standing in the back of a train car for hours so that those who needed to sit could. “There’s no way that we can travel [like this].”
Hundreds of people have been reported dead since the fighting broke out and thousands have fled Ukraine for refuge in neighboring countries. Further, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has reportedly issued a general mobilization order that should bar men aged 18-60 from fleeing the country.
As a result, Chmerkovskiy expressed a sense of “guilt” about being able to leave while so many others were left behind to survive and/or fight in Ukraine.
“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 unrooted.”
“I was in this new country,” he explained. “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 had since returned and reconnected with the country of his birth. Which made it all the more difficult for him to leave today. He described the challenging, “mixed emotions” he felt knowing that he would be leaving friends, some on the frontline, and not knowing their fate.
“I can’t hear from some of the people,” he said at one point. “I can’t get in touch with them. I don’t know if they’re dead.”
In another video from an airport in Warsaw shared 12 hours after his previous transmission, Chmerkovskiy explained the latest updates he had learned about the fighting in Ukraine.
“They’re leveling cities,” he said of the intensifying bombardment from Russia. But, he explained he was not concerned about infrastructure, and instead, worried for the civilians. According to Chmerkovskiy, Ukrainians are fighting back against machinery and equipment that they have no idea “what it does.”
“The more Putin throws weapons at Ukraine, the more Ukrainians pack the borders, with themselves, to start defending it personally,” he said. “In the way that, they look around and say, ‘I’ll pick up a rock and starting throwing it.”
According to Chmerkovskiy, this has caused a lot of bloodshed.
Right before ending the video, he explained that he was about to board a plane. But, he encouraged his followers to “keep talking” with Russians who might be in denial about the horrors of the invasion as they have been fed lies by the Putin regime for years.
“We’ve just got to help them and open their eyes. Just keep talking and using your voice and so will I.”
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
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