Just hours after explosions began in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Maksim Chmerkovskiy shared a harrowing firsthand account of the crisis.
"There's ALWAYS another way," Chmerkovskiy captioned a Feb. 24 Instagram video of himself, in which he confirms he is in close proximity to Kyiv. "WAR is NEVER an answer! I will never be the same. This is stressful and I'm getting old feelings back, like I've done this before."
Back in 1994, the Dancing With the Stars alum and his family, including brother Val Chmerkovskiy, moved from the Eastern European country to the United States. More recently, he returned his native country to judge the Ukrainian World of Dance series. "This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the ‘90s," he added. "Like my old PTSD, I've finally fixed, is coming back. I literally only just forgot about those ‘always on the edge' feelings and actually started worrying about things like bbq grills."
"I'm crying as I'm typing this because all man deserves to worry about ‘bbq grills' and not f--king war," he continued. "Hug your loved ones."
Chmerkovskiy's update to fans comes just hours after Russia, under the order of President Vladimir Putin, began attacks began on Ukrainian military infrastructure.
"Honestly, I'm getting really emotional," the dad of 5-year-old Shai said. "It's a little difficult. You know me, you know me I stay strong, and I don't show it, but I want to go back home…And what I'm realizing is that my friends, whose kids are here and whose moms, dads are here—and elderly people are here, and they can't just escape."
He added, "I am not at this point someone who is pleading, you know, 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."
Amid the ongoing crisis, Mark Ruffalo, Cher and Cardi B, among others have taken to social media to share their reactions to the invasion. "Sending love and good prayers to all innocent people of Ukraine and Russia and Europe who are caught up in this sad and corrosive moment of asymmetrical violence and destruction," wrote Ruffalo, "especially the young people. You have done nothing to deserve this perversion and obscene spectacle."
Sending love and good prayers to all innocent people of Ukraine and Russia and Europe who are caught up in this sad and corrosive moment of asymmetrical violence and destruction, especially the young people. You have done nothing to deserve this perversion and obscene spectacle.— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) February 24, 2022
Added Ukrainian boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko, "The world is watching how reckless and deadly imperialism is, not just for #Ukraine but the whole world. Let history be a lesson to not be repeated."
Meanwhile, Real Housewives of New York alum Bethenny Frankel shared that her disaster relief initiative, BSTRONG, would be providing assistance. "Airways closed & 7 hrs. to exit Kiev," she tweeted. "We'll be in Kiev Fri to meet Ukraine partners & Poland Mon to set up base camps for refugee supplies We're working w green berets & airlifting good-shipping boxes today. This could be the largest humanitarian crisis since WW2."