‘Dancing With the Stars’ Alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy Says He’s Leaving Ukraine After Brief Arrest (Video)

“I have options. My options are better than most people, unfortunately,” the ballroom dancer says

maksim Chmerkovskiy
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, a Ukrainian-born dancer and fan favorite alum of “Dancing With the Stars,” says he’s now trying to leave Ukraine and Kyiv after revealing that he had been arrested and released by Russian forces.

In a brief video update from Kyiv posted on his Instagram Monday, Chmerkovskiy said he will now attempt to make his way toward the Polish border, explaining how a friend of his has been traveling for days trying to reach Poland despite a relatively short distance by bus.

“I’m going to try and make my way out. I’m going to try to start getting towards the border. I have options. My options are better than most people, unfortunately,” he said. “I’m just a little nervous, to be honest with you. But I think it’s going to be alright. I know it’s going to be OK.”

Though he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, another “Dancing With the Stars” alum Peta Murgatroyd, and his 5-year-old son, Chmerkovskiy was in Kyiv filming a project called “World of Dance UA” when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

He also mentioned that he was briefly arrested since his last social media update.

“All good, I promise. But that was probably the least traumatizing moment of this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned. But for me, it was a reality check. No matter what it is, it was a crazy reality check,” he said.

Chmerkovskiy also asked followers to do him a favor and “don’t panic if I disappear for a bit” over the next few days as he makes his trip toward the border. He finally addressed rumors of racism and mistreatment at the Ukrainian-Poland border and said that while he’s hardly a fact-checker, “if there’s any bit of smoke” to the rumors, “it’s inhumane.”

Watch his full video update below.