Despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Maksim Chmerkovskiy has returned to Europe to assist those in need.
After returning home from Ukraine earlier this month, the “Dancing with the Stars” pro went live on Instagram Sunday from Warsaw, Poland, telling his followers he was “fine” and “enjoyed some of that Los Angeles weather.”
“I saw my family and friends, and I obviously spent some time with them,” the 42-year-old said. “And we’ve been hard at work. We’ve been working on concrete ways to assist.”
Chmerkovskiy promoted Baranova27, a charitable organization that provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainians. It was named after the address in Odessa, Ukraine, where Chmerkovskiy, his brother Val, and their father were born. Since its launch on March 10, the GoFundMe has raised over $141,000. It stated that “all proceeds will go towards our efforts to assist Ukraine.”
The ongoing conflict “did not end or slow down – it got worse in Ukraine,” according to Chmerkovskiy.
“I want everyone to understand what that means,” he explained, “because everything happened so quickly.” “It was traumatic, and it happened all over the world. However, things are currently deteriorating. The humanitarian crisis is escalating. People are being injured more severely, and there are more people who are affected.”
Chmerkovskiy also spoke about how the devastating situation is affecting Poland.
He stated, “These towns are running out of space.” “This is a genuine issue. Several towns have already stated that they will not accept any more refugees. Currently, where I am in Warsaw, right in the heart of the city, everything is Ukrainian. Everybody is a displaced person.”
Chmerkovskiy’s spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Digital that the actor is in Poland.
A source close to Chmerkovskiy told Fox News Digital earlier this month that the actor planned to return to Europe and was “working toward helping the refugee assistance efforts along the border.”
Chmerkovskiy has admitted to suffering from “survivor’s guilt.”
“I spent the last couple of days with survivor’s remorse, and I’m currently working on an opportunity to go back,” he said during an interview. “Probably sometime next week I’m going to go back to Poland and join efforts on the ground. Sort of want to justify my safe out that way.”
Chmerkovskiy discussed the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as his experiences in the war-torn country in the days leading up to his departure, during his interview.
“It wasn’t a conscious choice to leave. It was more like I was told I had to leave “He went on to explain. “The people of Ukraine, in general, had been anticipating this conflict. They’d planned ahead. It had taken eight years in the making, and that had been my overall impression since I began [working] in Ukraine in September of last year.”
“I’m consulting on a couple of TV shows and dance-related projects,” Chmerkovskiy continued.
Chmerkovskiy described how he “fought that internal feeling” as he boarded a train to Poland. “I felt really bad about going, and it made me feel even worse when I got to the train station and saw it was all women and children,” Chmerkovskiy said. “Because I’m too big and take up too much room, I had wedged myself between trains.” That’s the footage that was shown because I literally moved out of the area where everyone would’ve been.”
“I justified my space internally because I was outside,” he continued. “It wasn’t livable because it was too cold, so I’d pace around in that space, come in, thaw out, and then go back outside, so I helped a lot with their needs and bags and stuff.” Just so you know, I’m not just taking up space. Chmerkovskiy was born in the United States and holds American citizenship. The professional ballroom dancer admitted to having mental problems.
On February 24, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The attack was described by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “special military mission.” The invasion has sparked outrage around the world. Hundreds of people, including children, have already been killed or injured. Thousands of people have fled or attempted to flee the country.