Maksim Chmerkovskiy touched down Wednesday in Los Angeles after several harrowing days in his home country of Ukraine.
The “Dancing With the Stars” alum arrived at Los Angeles International Airport and had an emotional reunion with his wife, fellow “DWTS” star Peta Murgatroyd.
“I’m trying to process all of this and I just want to go home,” Chmerkovskiy told reporters assembled at the airport, according to KABC-TV. “For me it’s important that my friends over there survive, I don’t care about answering politically correctly or figuring out what to say.”
“Entertainment Tonight” posted video of an emotional Chmerkovskiy embracing Murgatroyd for several minutes outside the baggage claim area.
Chmerkovskiy had been in Kyiv filming “World of Dance UA” when Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine began Feb. 24.
Since the fighting began, Chmerkovskiy has been posting videos on social media showing what he witnessed back home.
At the invasion’s outset, the Ukrainian-born champion ballroom dancer uploaded footage to Instagram as sirens blared in the background. He captioned one video, “There’s always another way! War is never an answer!”
In a video update from Kyiv this past Monday on Instagram, Chmerkovskiy said he was trying to get to the Polish border and ultimately return to his wife and five-year-old son in California.
“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.”