“I don’t usually ask these things from my social media network, however, today is extremely hard and the next few days will be even harder,” the Dancing With the Stars pro, 35, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, February 24. “My pain is overwhelming and I’m struggling, but you sending your positive light and love to him would be the world to me. Truly, I wish for nothing more.”
While Murgatroyd added that she “doesn’t have the answers” to the questions she’s been asked about the ballroom champion, 42, she did confirm that “he is safe right now.” Chmerkovskiy is currently in Ukraine, where he has been living on and off for the past six months while filming World of Dance.
“Please play that he comes home soon,” the New Zealand native continued. “Please pray that he has a swift, safe exit. I have faith. I have hope and I have prayed so hard.”
Murgatroyd concluded her post by asking her followers to also send positive thoughts to the “innocent civilians” of Ukraine who are being affected by the military invasion, writing, “I grew to love this country the couple of times I visited and they’re in an unfathomable situation.”
Earlier on Thursday, Chmerkovskiy posted two Instagram videos showing fans what he’s experienced in the European country after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the invasion of his home country. “Everyone was hoping that the finality of the situation would be averted,” the dancer said in his first video, which was filmed on a balcony overlooking the city. “Honestly, I’m getting really emotional. It’s been a little difficult. You know me, I stay strong. And I don’t show it, but I want to go back home.”
Chmerkovskiy and his younger brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, were both born in Odessa, Ukraine. They immigrated to the United States with their family in 1994. The reality star currently splits his time between Kyiv and Los Angeles, where he lives with Murgatroyd and their 5-year-old son, Shai.
“I will never be the same,” Maksim wrote alongside his video, explaining that the situation reminded him of how his family felt before they left for America. “This is stressful and I’m getting old feelings back, like I’ve done this before. This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD I’ve finally fixed is coming back.”
In addition to asking fans not to “bombard” Murgatroyd with messages asking about his safety, the former Broadway star reflected on all of the people who might not be able to leave the country as easily as him. “What I’m realizing is that my friends whose kids are here, whose moms, dads are here, and elderly people are here, they can’t just escape.” the choreographer noted in the clip.
He continued: “I am not at this point someone who is pleading for someone else’s safety from a far distance, from a safe distance. I’m somebody who’s about to go into a bomb shelter because s–t’s going down.”