‘Dancing With the Stars’ Maksim Chmerkovskiy Details ‘Traumatizing’ Train Ride Out of Ukraine

by Samantha Whidden

Following his official departure from Ukraine, Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy opens up about the traumatizing train ride into Poland. 

Variety reports that in an Instagram story the Dancing with the Stars castmate declared that he made it on the train. The transportation was notably crammed with Ukrainian refugees. “I made it on the train. We’re heading to Warsaw, hopefully. Train to Lviv was not an option. The situation at the train station is insane.”

The Dancing With the Stars pro also states that at first, the situation feels manageable. However, it gets a lot worse when it comes time to actually board a train. “Long story, but all I can say now is that I’m a big man with nothing but a backpack. And it’s traumatizing.”

Meanwhile, the Dancing With the Stars cast member wrote that he was in a cabin with four adults and seven kids (ages ranging from 2-11). The cabin is usually occupied by a maximum of three people. “There’s usually up to 30 people in this particular wagon. We were told we have to fit 125. Walkways are packed. People everywhere. It’s sweaty and claustrophobic.”

The dancing professional went on to share what finally “broke” him in the midst of the train ride. “When I was watching an eight-sh-year-old boy hysterical crying and not wanting to let go of his father. Verbatim. ‘If you stay, I want to stay too because if they kill you, I won’t sleep.’”

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy Says He Was Arrested While Trying to Get Out of Ukraine

The train ride comes after Maksim Chmerkovskiy announced he was attempting to leave Ukraine amid the Russian invasion. Chmerkovskiy, who was born in the Ukrainian city of Odesa, made the trip to Ukraine prior to the beginning of the invasion. He was working on a project called World of Dance UA. 

In a video, the Dancing With the Stars cast member states that there was fighting everywhere. “Streets are crazy. At one point, I got arrested. But all good, promise. That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing. As far as Ukraine is concerned. But for me, it was just a reality check. A Crazy reality check.”

Although he did not provide more details as to why he was arrested, Chmerkovskiy went on to add that he was going to try to make his way out. “Start trying to get close to the border. I’m just trying to stay focused. I have options. My options are better than most people’s, unfortunately. I’m a little nervous to be honest with you. But I think it’s going to be all right. Well, I know it’s going to be okay.”