As the situation in Ukraine escalates, Peta Murgatroyd is holding out hope for her husband and his home country.
As we previously reported, Maks Chmerkovskiy happened to be in Kyiv, Ukraine when Russian forces invaded. The Dancing with the Stars pro has been updating his followers on his own safety as well as sharing stories he’s heard from friends and loved ones elsewhere in the country. It’s a pretty surreal and remarkable first hand account from a public figure.
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We can’t imagine how much more surreal it is for his wife to be seeing it all unfold from afar. On Thursday, she shared a statement on the subject to Instagram, writing:
“Please pray for my husband Maks. 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. My pain is overwhelming and I’m struggling, but you sending your positive light and love to him would mean the world to me. Truly, I wish for nothing more.”
The momma went on:
“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. I have FAITH. I have HOPE and I have PRAYED so hard. Please pray for Ukraine and the innocent civilians who’s [sic] lives are being greatly uprooted. I grew to love this country the couple of times I visited and they’re in an unfathomable situation.”
Meanwhile, the 42-year-old has been posting frequently to his own page.
On his IG story, he shared video of himself speaking while an air strike alarm blared in the background; he informed followers he would soon be heading into a bomb shelter, and warned that things might “escalate to extreme proportions.”
Later, he posted more clips to his grid (presumably from the bomb shelter), explaining:
“I’m out here, again, I’m safe. We haven’t been told to move, and I’m just following instructions. That’s all I can say. But the reality is that I’m also talking to my friends that are here, the Ukrainians, and the situation is pretty dire. People are being mobilized. The whole country is being called to go to war. And men, women, boys, the people that I was judging some days ago [in] dance competitions, that are going forward and, you know, getting guns and getting deployed to defend the country.”
“I don’t represent everybody, again, I’m not reporting the news, I’m just saying from my experience, people that I’m talking to are very aggressively charged. … This is gonna be tough. So if it’s not resolved in a peaceful manner in some way or form in the next day or so, or two, I think it’s gonna take a turn for very, very much more aggressive actions and a lot more casualties.”
Relating what he’d heard and observed, he stated:
“There are kids that are getting sick, people are sheltering and people that aren’t able to just get up and run, right: small children, elderly people. This is like it is in every conflict, I’m just drawing attention to the fact that this is what’s happening. Some of my friends kids’ got sick overnight, last night. Some of my friends can’t leave because they have some people that are old that [are] just coming over this COVID nonsense that was happening. … It’s not like you can call an Uber, if you know what I’m saying.”
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In a follow up video, the television personality added:
“I’m not currently trying to leave. I’m staying here. I’m gonna do my best to make sure that I’m as safe as possible. But I’m not moving towards the border currently. It’s, I heard, not safe.”
He claimed that some of his friends currently en route to the Polish border had reported that “it’s quite dangerous” and there had been “senseless activity going on, outside of war stuff.” He concluded:
“I made a decision not to try to go right now. I’m just gonna be here, and I will keep you posted of what’s happening next.”
In his Instagram story, he went on to express that his “purpose” for posting the update videos was to encourage conversation and de-escalation of the conflict.
He also asked followers to find ways to help financially support those who’d lost property (or more) in Ukraine.
This is beyond an upsetting situation, and we hope Maks gets his wish for an end to the violence. We’ll be keeping him and all those suffering in Ukraine in our thoughts.
[Image via Peta Murgatroyd/Maks Chmerkovskiy/Instagram]