Got A Tip?

Star Seeker

Dancing With The Stars

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Has Already Returned To Poland To Help Ukrainian Refugees!

maksim chmerkovskiy : back in poland to aid ukrainian cause

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is back in Europe.

Maks drew a lot of attention after spending a few traumatic days stuck in his native Ukraine at the beginning of the Russian invasion. He was thankfully able to escape and return to the US to reunite with his family, but admitted he felt “survivor’s guilt” and wanted to return to help out. On Sunday, the dancer confirmed he was back in Poland and gave an update about how he was helping out on the ground.

Related: Hayden Panettiere Speaks Out About Ukraine In Powerful Video For Non-Profit

In an Instagram Live, the 42-year-old addressed fans:

“Hi everybody. … I’m fine. I’m good. I spent some time at home. I enjoyed some of that Los Angeles weather. Saw my family, saw my friends, obviously spent some time. And we’ve been working. We’ve been working on, you know, tangible opportunities to help.”

He continued:

“My father and my brother, together with a lot of people that we work with all the time, that we just friends with, and with the help of whom, we’ve started our organization, Baranova 27. For those of who’ve been following, Baranova 27 is the address where our father, myself and Val were born, in Odessa in Ukraine. So, that’s where, sort of our roots are at. And, you know, we’ve been working diligently on making Baranova 27 something that, as big as it took off, that it can continue that way.”

The Dancing with the Stars pro gave a few shout-outs to others giving aid on the ground. That includes Jakub Rybicki, a “fellow dancer” in Poland who has been driving refugees from the border to house them at his own home and with “friends, neighbors, and everybody else.” Maks visited Jakub on Saturday and spoke with some of the 200 people he had already rescued. He told followers that he would be publicizing a fundraiser to help Jakub continue his operation and hopefully house more refugees, as he explained:

“These towns are running out of space, and this is actual [sic] problem. A few towns already announced they cannot accept any more refugees. Currently where I’m at in Warsaw in the middle of downtown, everywhere you go is Ukrainian… everybody’s a refugee. So, again, I witnessed it today with my own eyes.”

The choreographer went on:

“I’m also going to visit Bethenny Frankel, my friend, she’s been doing amazing work. She has couple of centers right at the borders. I’m gonna go visit them, see them, see if I can help be of any service, and also just gonna give you guys my perspective of everything that’s happening. And also obviously see how she’s doing it because again, this is incredible infrastructure, we’re all learning. And we’re learning with Baranova.”

Maks highlighted some of the accomplishments of Baranova so far, such as raising over $100k in the first two weeks and shipping out 134k lbs of aid. He announced a new GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $250k to address rising shipping prices. The television personality remarked:

“I’m here in Poland as part of figuring out how to manage this middle part as well. And so we’re trying to be a bigger presence, we’re tying to figure out how to be present here on the ground, to manage the bottlenecking issue that’s becoming a situation with all of the aid that’s coming in… but, again, if you’re here on the ground and you’re represented, it’s a different opportunity.”

maksim chmerkovskiy : shares ukrainian aid organization accomplishments
(c) Maksim Chmerkovskiy/Instagram

He added:

“We’re building this infrastructure from ground up. We feel like we’re successful, I wanna say that. We feel like we’re doing a lot of great work. And we’re just getting a taste of the fact that it’s getting delivered and we’re seeing it in the right hands, and we’re seeing the positive that comes out of that work that we, and everyone of you, people that have donated, have done together.”

Peta Murgatroyd’s husband finished by saying:

“I wanna say right now that we’re getting a little bit hungover, people are getting tired. And this is the time that I would like to ask everybody to realize that it didn’t — not end or slow down, it got worse in Ukraine. And I want everyone to understand what that means, because everything that happened, happened fast and it was traumatic and it was worldwide and everything. But right now, it is getting worse.”

Related: Halyna Hutchins’ Family Trapped In Ukraine

He concluded:

“Humanitarian crisis is getting worse. People are getting hurt worse. There are more people hurt, and there are more people affected. I would really, really like for you guys to give yourself a day off. Tune out, go to church, spend time with your family. Do your thing. But please, come back to us and come back to realization that a lot of people still need our help, and we should continue providing this support, because we now showed Ukraine, as a world, that we can all do it together, and we have to continue probably doing that.”

We continue to appreciate Maks using his platform to educate and raise awareness. We can’t imagine how it must feel to have escaped the violence in Ukraine only to return shortly after, but we commend his desire to help. Best of luck to him and the others lending aid at the border.

[Image via Maksim Chmerkovskiy/Instagram]

Related Posts

Mar 21, 2022 07:50am PDT