The 42-year-old Dancing With the Stars pro touched down at LAX on Wednesday, March 2, nearly one week since he revealed he was out of the country to film the Ukrainian version of World of Dance when Russia invaded on February 24.
“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,” Chmerkovskiy told Entertainment Tonight after his lengthy embrace with Murgatroyd, 35.
The outlet published a video of the pair hugging twice before walking out of the airport hand in hand.
“The reason why Ukraine is standing right now is because of the Ukrainian people. And the fact that the entire world is helping,” Chmerkovskiy continued. “Huge shout-out to Poland, huge shout-out to neighboring countries. The way I was treated through the whole process of leaving into Poland, I’ve just got to bow down to the Polish people.”
It was an emotional reunion for Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd as he arrived home safely from Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Pxwa6tzfFh
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) March 3, 2022
Chmerkovskiy, who claimed he was arrested amid the unrest, began his journey home on Monday, February 28, chronicling his “traumatizing” train ride from Ukraine to Poland.
“At first it feels manageable but gets A LOT worse when it comes time to actually board the train. Long story, but all I can say now is that I’m a big man with nothing but a backpack … currently I’m in a cabin with 4 adults and 7 kids (ages 2-11) which usually is only occupied by a maximum of 3 people,” he wrote via Instagram Stories at the time, noting “usually up to 30 people in this particular wagon” he was riding in. “We were told we have to fit 135. Walkways are packed. People everywhere. It’s sweaty and claustrophobic.”
Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd tied the knot in 2017. They share son Shai, 5.
Prior to his return to the U.S., the New Zealand native shared a video of the candles she’s been lighting for her husband.
“I rotated candles and never let them blow out for those 5 days. 24/7,” she wrote on Tuesday, March 1. “@maksimc I cannot wait to be with you again.”
Days earlier, she wrote, “My pain is overwhelming and I’m struggling, but you sending your positive light and love to him would be the world to me. Truly, I wish for nothing more. … Please pray that he has a swift, safe exit. I have faith. I have hope and I have prayed so hard.”
Scroll through for photos of Chmerkovskiy’s arrival: