'Dancing With The Stars' Pro Returns To LA After Intense Week Of Fleeing Ukraine

Mason Joseph Zimmer
Maks Chmerkovskiy embracing Peta Murgatroyd
instagram | @maksimc

When tensions rise for long enough, it can be just as hard to tell when they'll reach their breaking point as when a crisis comes out of nowhere.

So while people living in Ukraine could point to a worrying trend of deteriorating relations with Russia in recent history, that didn't make it any less shocking when Russian forces actually started to invade the country.

And one of the people who were caught up in that sudden escalation was Dancing With the Stars alumnus Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who was stuck in Kyiv when the invasion began.

But while fans had reason to hope as his updates turned from perilous to encouraging, they could only breathe a sigh of relief once Chmerkovskiy had found a way out of Ukraine.

And now, it seems that he has finally completed his uncertain and stressful journey homeward.

Be advised that a video featured in this article contains explicit language

By the time the Russian military started moving into Ukraine on February 24, Chmerkovskiy was in the process of shooting a dance competition series.

According to _People_, he was serving as a judge for the Ukrainian portion of the globe-spanning World of Dance series.

And since he was active on Instagram during that time, we could see what the early stages of the situation in Ukraine looked like from Kyiv through his posts in the following days.

In the first of these updates, he made a plea for Russians who were following the situation to oppose their government's actions.

And as we can see here, while he acknowledged that his "different passport" afforded him an exit opportunity that his friends in Ukraine didn't necessarily have, he was nonetheless about to seek refuge in a bomb shelter.

But while he was apparently arrested on February 28 for unspecified reasons, things would start looking up for Chmerkovskiy by the time the day was out.

That's because that day would see him board a train to Poland and by March 2, he posted this video in which he not only confirmed that he was out of Ukraine, but also that he was about to fly home to Los Angeles.

Speaking about his arrest, he said, "That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me, it was just a reality check."

That same day, the father of one would be photographed at Los Angeles International Airport embracing his wife Peta Murgatroyd.

And after a journey that put him face-to-face with the chaos and exhausted by a 23-hour train ride that left him without sleep for 36 hours, it was hard for him to find the words when reporters approached him.

As he put it, "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."

h/t: People

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