After a week of hiding out in Ukraine, Maksim Chmerkovskiy made it back home to America while the Russian invasion was underway.
While in Ukraine, he kept his fans updated on what was happening there, not as a reporter but as an observer. It was one of the best depictions of what was going on without the filter of a news network.
However, one scary moment was when Maksim said he had been arrested but that he was okay.
Now that he is back home, Maksim explained what happened with the arrest in Ukraine.
Why was Maksim arrested in Ukraine?
Maksim was mainly doing what he was told while hiding out in Ukraine.
He stayed in a bomb shelter for much of his time there, but he also left on occasion to use his phone to record what was going on in Kyiv and post it on his Instagram.
Maksim said that he was out after curfew, outside the city, the night he was arrested.
Some men approached him and asked to see his passport. He showed them his U.S. passport, and when they started speaking English to him, he explained he could speak Russian if that made it easier.
“Then I regretted saying that. I thought maybe it was wrong,” Maksim said in an appearance on Good Morning America.
“But then the guy next to him goes, ‘Oh, that’s the judge from Dancing With the Stars. That’s Maks. I know him. He’s from TV.’ He goes, ‘Get inside right now.'”
Maksim went on to say that he wasn’t in fear that they would shoot him, but it also made him realize he wasn’t safe in Ukraine.
That is when he decided he needed to get back home to America.
Why was Maksim in Ukraine during the Russian invasion?
Maksim had returned to Ukraine to serve as a judge on Dancing with the Stars in the country.
This was the same show that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky won in its first season, over a decade before he became leader of the country.
Maksim said he heard about the possible invasion, but people he trusted told him that it wouldn’t happen. With Russia attacked, it was too late for him to safely get out of the country.
With his wife Peta Murgatroyd and his brother Val Chmerkovskiy in the United States, Maksim said they were two of the only people he contacted directly, while everyone else heard from him on Instagram via videos.
Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus.