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Maksim Chmerkovskiy has returned to Europe amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to help those in need.
The “Dancing with the Stars” pro went live on Instagram Sunday from the Polish capital city of Warsaw and told his followers he was “fine” and “enjoyed some of that Los Angeles weather” after he returned home from Ukraine earlier this month.
“Saw my family, saw my friends, obviously spent some time [with them],” said the 42-year-old. “And we’ve been working. We’ve been working on tangible opportunities to help.”
Chmerkovskiy raised awareness on Baranova27, a charitable organization for Ukrainian humanitarian aid. It was named after the address where Chmerkovskiy, as well as his brother Val and their father, were born in Odessa, Ukraine.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy confirmed he was in Warsaw on Sunday.
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Since the GoFundMe launched on March 10, it has raised over $141,000. All proceeds “will be put towards our efforts to help Ukraine,” it noted.
Chmerkovskiy shared that the ongoing conflict “did not end or slow down – it got worse in Ukraine.”
“I want everybody to understand what that means because everything that happened, happened fast,” he explained. “It was traumatic and it was worldwide and everything. But right now, it is getting worse. Humanitarian crisis is getting worse. People are getting hurt worse, there are more people hurt and there are more people affected.”
Chmerkovskiy also addressed how Poland is affected by the devastating situation.
Emotional reunion between Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd at LAX airport as the ‘DWTS’ pro arrived back in LA from Ukraine on March 2, 2022.
(Fox News Digital)
“These towns are running out of space,” he said. “This is an actual problem. A few towns already announced they cannot accept any more refugees. Currently, where I’m at, in Warsaw, in the middle of downtown, everywhere you go is Ukrainian. Everybody’s a refugee.”
A spokesperson for Chmerkovskiy confirmed to Fox News Digital that the star is in Poland.
Earlier this month, a source close to Chmerkovskiy also revealed to Fox News Digital that the star was planning on making a return to Europe and was “working toward helping the refugee assistance efforts along the border.”
Chmerkovskiy has admitted that he has “survivor’s remorse.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy admitted he has ‘survivor’s remorse’ since leaving Ukraine.
(Maksim Chmerkovskiy/GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)
“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 with CNN. “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.”
During his interview, Chmerkovskiy spoke about the war between Russia and Ukraine and his experience in the war-torn country days before his departure.
“It wasn’t really a decision to leave. It was more like I got told that I have to go,” he explained. “The Ukrainian people, in general, they were waiting for this conflict. They were prepared. It was eight years in the making and that was the whole general feeling since I started [working] in Ukraine in September of last year.”
Chmerkovskiy went on to share that he was “consulting on a couple of TV shows and dance-related projects.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd welcomed their first child in 2017.
“The entire time, the feeling was that something is looming,” he recalled. “All the time I was being told, ‘If something happens, we’ll take you out. You’ll be the first to move out of the country.'”
“When everything happened, it happened suddenly,” he added. “And that morning — I was literally driving to film and at 5 a.m. — someone was bombarding my phone saying, ‘You have to go now.'”
Chmerkovskiy detailed that as he was boarding a train to Poland, he “fought that internal feeling.”
“I felt really bad going, and the feeling sunk in even worse because when I got to the train station, I realized it was all women and children,” Chmerkovskiy said. “I’m too big, and I’m taking up space, so I had put myself between trains. I literally moved out of the area where people would’ve all been and that’s the footage that was shown.”
A source previously told Fox News Digital that Maksim Chmerkovskiy wanted to help those in need.
“Internally, I justified my space ’cause I was outside,” he continued. “It wasn’t a livable situation because it was too freezing, so I would 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 all that stuff. Just to understand that I’m not just taking up space.”
Chmerkovskiy has citizenship in the United States. The professional ballroom dancer admitted that he’s struggling mentally.
Russia launched a full-scale invasion into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin labeled the attack a “special military mission.” The invasion has sparked worldwide condemnation. Hundreds have already been reported either dead or wounded, including children. Millions have fled or attempted to escape the country.
Fox News’ Janelle Ash, Julius Young and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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