In their prayers. Amid the Russian invasion of several Ukrainian cities, many of Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Dancing With the Stars friends and loved ones are sharing their support for the dancer, who is still in Kyiv as the unrest continues.
“Everyone stop what you are doing and please please pray for my friend @maksimc and all those in danger RIGHT now in Ukraine,” DWTS pro Lindsay Arnold wrote via Instagram Story early on Sunday, February 27.
The Utah native, 28, also reshared one of Chmerkovskiy’s recent Instagram videos in which he described his experience.
“There’s air raid alarms everywhere,” the Masked Dancer alum, 42, said in his Saturday, February 26, Instagram video. “Literally right now. Constant. This is not, — there’s no drills. It’s nonstop about a minute, two-minute, three-minutes now and it’s all around Kyiv, and there’s constant videos of like the artillery shooting inside Kyiv. … Yo, pray for a lot of people.”
Several of Chmerkovskiy’s former dancing costars, including Arnold, commented on his post to share their prayers.
“I love you and am praying for you ❤️,” Sharna Burgess replied to his Instagram post before resharing it onto her Story.
“Today is extremely hard and the next few days will be even harder,” the Peta Jane founder, 35, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, February 24. “Please play 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.”
“My mums first and only post on Instagram. Lighting candles for my husband ❤️,” the New Zealand native wrote via Instagram Story on Saturday, alongside a photo of a pair of lit candles next to a framed photo of Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd.
Chmerkovskiy — who was born in Odessa, Ukraine, before his family immigrated to the United States in 1994 — had been living in Kyiv for the past six months while filming World of Dance. Amid the Russian invasion, he’s given fans a look at his experience.
“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,” Chmerkovskiy explained in a Thursday Instagram video. “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.”
On Sunday, the Ukrainian-American dancer noted that he was exhausted when he took to an Instagram Live video to share his feelings. “This is going to either escalate to human suffering on a crazy, historic level, or it’s going to stop right now,” he told followers.
Chmerkovskiy, who previously made headlines for confronting Kirstie Alley about misinformation, gave a shoutout to the journalists on the ground in Kyiv.
“I give a lot of props to these reporters. I’m surrounded by news teams and what they’re doing is absolutely incredible,” he said. “They’re literally right on the front line, giving you pictures of stuff. It’s an insane gig.”
However, the DWTS pro emphasized that what he really wants is peace and a way home. “The reality is I just want to go home at this point. I’m just hoping for a safe ending to it all,” he said.
His wife, with whom Chmerkovskiy shares 5-year-old son Shai, attempted to remind him of happier days ahead.
“I love you. You will be home soon I promise. Think about how many bbq’s we are [going] to have. Then the fishing trips with shai,” Murgatroyd commented on the video, adding a smiling face and heart emoji.
Scroll below to see how the DWTS cast have shared their support: