Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy Seeks to Leave Ukraine, Says He Was Briefly Arrested – CNET

Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy Seeks to Leave Ukraine, Says He Was Briefly Arrested – CNET

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, a professional dancer and longtime cast member of Dancing With the Stars, continues to post social media updates from Ukraine, where he has been living for months while working with a dance competition. In videos last week, he’d said he wasn’t trying to return yet to his home and family in California. But the situation has changed.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, starting the largest land war in Europe since World War II and leading to ever-increasing international rebuke and sanctions

“I’m going to try to make my way out,” Chmerkovskiy said in a video posted Monday on Instagram. “I’m going to try to start getting towards the (Polish) border, I have options. My options are better than most people’s, unfortunately. I’m a little nervous, to be honest with you, but I think it’s going to be all right.”

He didn’t go into detail about his arrest, saying only, “Just a lot of fighting everywhere. Streets are crazy. At one point, I got arrested. … But again, all good, promise. …That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing for — as far as Ukraine is concerned. But for me, it was just a reality check.”

Chmerkovskiy, who has said he feels fortunate to have a US passport, ended his video noting that fans shouldn’t worry if he’s unable to post for a while, saying that he will keep in touch with his family. Chmerkovskiy and his wife, dancer Peta Murgatroyd, live in California with their 5-year-old son, Shai. 

Chmerkovskiy was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1980 when the country was part of the USSR. His family immigrated to New York in 1994, and he began competing as a professional dancer. He joined the dance competition show in its second season in 2006 and partnering with various celebrities until leaving the show in 2018. He won the show’s coveted mirror ball trophy in 2014 when paired with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis.

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