As the Russian invasion in Ukraine continues to rapidly escalate, Dancing With the Stars pro Peta Murgatroyd is asking her Instagram followers to “please pray” for her husband, Maks Chmerkovskiy, who’s currently in his country of birth, where he was working on the World of Dance UA reality competition series. “I don’t usually ask these things from my social media network, however today is extremely hard and the next few will be even harder,” Murgatroyd shared in a Feb. 24 Instagram post. “My pain is overwhelming and I’m struggling, but you sending your positive light and love to him would mean the world to me. Truly, I wish for nothing more.”
Explaining that she still didn’t know many details, the dancer added that her husband “is safe right now,” and again asked fans to “pray that he comes home soon” and that he “has a swift, safe exit.” Murgatroyd, who shares 5-year-old son Shai with the DWTS alum, added, “I have FAITH. I have HOPE and I have PRAYED so hard.” She also requested prayers “for Ukraine and the innocent civilians” whose lives have been “greatly uprooted” after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine’s Donbas region. “I grew to love this country the couple of times I visited and they’re in an unfathomable situation,” she concluded.
For his part, Chmerkovskiy, who responded to his wife’s post with a teary-eyed emoji and a red heart emoji, has been sharing his own Instagram dispatches from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital Russian forces have been attacking for several days. “There’s ALWAYS another way! WAR is NEVER an answer!” Chmerkovskiy captioned a Feb. 24 video, documenting his “emotional” experience, as military sirens blared in the background. “I will never be the same. ... Hug your loved ones.”
The Ukrainian-born dancer and choreographer further explained that he hadn’t previously evacuated because “everybody was hoping that the finality of this situation would be averted, that there wasn’t going to be these kind of aggressive measures” by Russia. “But I want to go back home. And I realize that I have the way to — I realize that I have a different passport, and my family is far away,” Chmerkovskiy said. On Feb. 25, he clarified that he’s “not currently trying to leave” Ukraine or move toward the border because of the widespread degree of danger across the country.
He added: “The main thing is that I’m safe. But like I said, a lot of people are not, and this is very, very, very real, what’s happening now. I’m packed, I’m ready, my hotel has a bomb shelter. We can go there now, but the few of us decided to maybe wait until we hear the sirens and then we’ll be down there. I’m going to try and keep you guys updated and show you what it’s really like, but the reality is it’s exactly what it looks like on TV.”