Maks Chmerkovskiy Emotional Return To LA from Ukraine

Maksim Chmerkovskiy finally made it back to the United States Wednesday night after an arduous trip by train from Kyiv Ukraine to Poland.

The former Dancing with the Stars pro-dancer was in the country filming the Ukraine version of World of Dance when Russia invaded the country last week. He holed up in a safe place for awhile, where he posted Instagram videos chronicling his scary and uncertain situation. When it became too dangerous to stay, he finally left the war torn city.

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Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier spoke with Maks in the airport. Overcome with emotion, the dancer said, “I just don’t want to resent peace somewhere else because of what I just saw, that’s the reality. I don’t know really what to say right this second.”

Maks and wife Peta Murgatroyd share an emotional embrace at the airport

Reporters were at the airport when Maks reunited with his wife and fellow pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd. The two shared a long, emotional embrace. 

Outside LAX, Maks addressed the assembled reporters.

“The reason why Ukraine is standing right now is because of the Ukrainian people,” Maks said, “And the fact that the entire world is helping.”

“Huge shout out to Poland, huge shout out to neighboring countries,” he added. “The way I was treated through the whole process of leaving into Poland, I’ve just got to bow down to the Polish people.”

In an earlier Instagram post, Maks described a 23 hour train ride to Poland, “I’m a big man with nothing but a backpack it’s TRAUMATIZING… Walkways are packed. People everywhere. It’s sweaty and claustrophobic.” He stood in the back of a train cab for the entire trip.

Maks addressed what he thinks needs to happen next. “If we don’t get involved, this thing is going to go everywhere else. I think that in 2022, following this action, we have to completely rethink the way we do things as a planet. There can never again be one person who can do something like this ever again. We have to have checks and balances globally, not just one country at a time.”

Maks and his family, including his brother Val, another pro dancer, emigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1994. He studied dance in Brooklyn where he became a world champion, before joining Dancing with the Stars in the show’s second season. Maks and Peta share a five year old son named Shai.

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