Val Chmerkovskiy talks about his brother Maksim’s experience in Ukraine

Val and Olivia Jade on Dancing with the Stars
Val and Olivia Jade on Dancing with the Stars. Pic credit: ABC

While Maksim Chmerkovskiy was trapped in Ukraine, he made lots of videos and posts showing the world what was really happening in the country.

It was a frightening look at people trying to escape as the war closed in.

Finally, Ukrainian officials ordered Maksim to escape on a train with women and children, with the goal of getting the Ameican citizen out of the country.

Maksim came home to see his wife and child and then returned to Poland to help refugees entering the country.

Now, his brother Valentin Chmerkovskiy is talking about what his brother was going through behind the scenes.

Val reveals his brother Maksim’s mindset while in Ukraine

Val spoke to his Season 30 Dancing with the Stars partner OIliuvia Jade on her podcast, Conversations with Olivia Jade.

In the interview, he talked about his brother Maksim’s experience in Ukraine and about people they know who are still in the country.

Maksim said when he was releasing his videos that he only spoke to a few close people on the phone during the time there, including his wife Peta and his brother Val.

“My brother was in Kyiv when the invasion started, and we were all really nervous, obviously,” Val said on the podcast. “He was petrified, we talked about it, and he was grateful to get out, but he is now right back at the Polish border trying to do whatever he can.”

Val also said that when Maksim got home, there was a lot of relief but also sadness because they both still know people in Ukraine.

“There was a lot of sadness still because it’s good that we are safe here, the privilege of living in this country, but there are a lot of our friends and family and peers that are in Ukraine right now that are, like I said, in bomb shelters,” Val said.

Maksim and Val are helping Ukrainian dancers get to the United States

“I think we are getting a little used to hearing that word, and we are kinda like, ‘Okay, cool,'” Val said when considering the shelters. “No, no, no, you don’t understand what that is, that means you don’t have a home, and you hide in a shelter with nothing there.”

“It’s crazy to me the courage that it takes for a fellow dancer. Yesterday we were competing at a dance competition. Today, he picked up an AK-47. He’s patrolling his street… I don’t know [if] that’s the kind of life we wanna have in this world.”

Val and Maksim have set up a fund to bring Ukrainian ballroom dancers to the United States.

Their company Dance With Me, will give dancers a $5,000 signing bonus to provide them with a financial start in the U.S. They will also help them “get a visa and try to get refugee status” and “provide them with accommodation and relocation assistance.”

Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus. The dancing reality competition should return later in 2022 to ABC.

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