Sharing his experience. As Maksim Chmerkovskiy has continued to update his social media followers with his whereabouts amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he’s calling out former Dancing With the Stars partner Kirstie Alley over her perceived lack of understanding.
“I don’t know what’s real or what is fake in this war,” the Cheers alum, 71, tweeted on Friday, February 25. “So I won’t be commenting. I’ll pray instead.”
Chmerkovskiy — who was previously paired with the comedian during season 12 of DWTS — responded via a social media statement, hoping to educate Alley amid her confusion. (Alley has not publicly addressed his remarks.)
“Dear Kirstie, We haven’t spoken in a while, but I clearly remember being right next to you while you were organizing trucks of aid during Hurricane Sandy and I remember all that you were saying to me about situations where innocent [people] are suffering,” the former DWTS champ, 42, wrote via Instagram Story on Saturday, February 26, alongside Alley’s tweet. “That same energy is needed right now. No one needs your prayer if you don’t know what’s real or fake.”
The DWTS Ukraine judge, who had been living in capital city Kyiv part-time for the past six months, has been outspoken about his experience after Russian troops began invading several Ukrainian cities on Thursday, February 24.
“Honestly, I’m getting really emotional. It’s been a little difficult. You know me, I stay strong. And I don’t show it, but I want to go back home,” the Masked Dancer alum explained in an Instagram video at the time. “What I’m realizing is that my friends whose kids are here, whose moms, dads are here, and elderly people are here, they can’t just escape. I am not at this point someone who is pleading for someone else’s safety from a far distance, from a safe distance. I’m somebody who’s about to go into a bomb shelter because s–t’s going down.”
The professional dancer and his younger brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, were both born in Odessa, Ukraine before their family immigrated to the United States in 1994.
“My parents fled this country for this exact reason,” Val, 35, wrote via a Thursday Instagram Story. “Not because it wasn’t good to them, but because their kids would see war eventually. It’s a cruel irony that 28 years later my brother is in a bomb shelter in [Kyiv]. If they hadn’t left I would be on the front lines defending my home right now.”
Maksim and the It Takes Two actress previously teamed up for 2011’s all-star season of the ABC competition, quickly bonding despite an early exit during the third week. However, their friendship had soon faded.
“I am no longer allowed to be Kirstie’s friend,” the Fuller House alum previously told Us Weekly in September 2016. “I find it ridiculous for an adult human being to ‘disconnect’ from someone. But everyone is entitled to their own insanity.”
He added: “I may turn off a bigger percentage of people than I keep around, but over a period of, let’s say, 10 years, people all come back in some way, saying, ‘Hey, we haven’t spoken in a decade, but I understand where you’re coming from, and I want us to continue being friends.’ I have a 100 percent return rate.”
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