Maksim Chmerkovskiy planning a return to Europe, says he has ‘survivor’s remorse’ leaving Ukraine

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy is planning on making a return to Europe, less than a week after he fled war-torn Ukraine and made his way back to Los Angeles, Fox News Digital can confirm.

A source close to the “Dancing with the Stars” pro told Fox News Digital that Chmerkovskiy is “working toward helping the refugee assistance efforts along the border.”

On Sunday, Chmerkovskiy said that he has “survivor’s remorse.”

“I spent the last couple of days with survivor’s remorse, and I’m currently working on an opportunity to go back,” he said during an interview with CNN. “Probably sometime next week I’m going to go back to Poland and join efforts on the ground. Sort of want to justify my safe out that way.” 

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is planning on making a return to Europe, less than a week after he fled war-torn Ukraine and made his way back to Los Angeles, Fox News Digital can confirm.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is planning on making a return to Europe, less than a week after he fled war-torn Ukraine and made his way back to Los Angeles, Fox News Digital can confirm.
(Maksim Chmerkovskiy/GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Fox News has reached out to Chmerkovskiy’s rep for comment.

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During his most recent interview, Chmerkovskiy, 42, spoke about the war between Russia and Ukraine and his experience in the war-torn country days before his departure. 

“It wasn’t really a decision to leave. It was more like I got told that I have to go,” he explained. “The Ukrainian people, in general, they were waiting for this conflict. They were prepared. It was eight years in the making and that was the whole general feeling since I started [working] in Ukraine in September of last year.” 

Chmerkovskiy went on to share that he was “consulting on a couple of TV shows and dance-related projects.”

On Sunday, Chmerkovskiy said that he has

On Sunday, Chmerkovskiy said that he has “survivor’s remorse.”
(Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

“The entire time, the feeling was that something is looming,” he recalled. “All the time I was being told, ‘If something happens, we’ll take you out. You’ll be the first to move out of the country.'” 

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“When everything happened, it happened suddenly,” he added. “And that morning — I was literally driving to film and at 5 a.m. — someone was bombarding my phone saying, ‘You have to go now.'”

Chmerkovskiy detailed that as he was boarding a train to Poland last week, he “fought that internal feeling”. 

Chmerkovskiy detailed that as he was boarding a train to Poland last week, he "fought that internal feeling". 

Chmerkovskiy detailed that as he was boarding a train to Poland last week, he “fought that internal feeling”. 
(Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

“I felt really bad going, and the feeling sunk in even worse because when I got to the train station, I realized it was all women and children,” Chmerkovskiy said. “I’m too big, and I’m taking up space, so I had put myself between trains. I literally moved out of the area where people would’ve all been and that’s the footage that was shown.” 

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“Internally, I justified my space ’cause I was outside,” he continued. “It wasn’t a livable situation because it was too freezing, so I would pace around in that space, come in, thaw out and then go back outside, so I helped a lot with their needs and bags and all that stuff. Just to understand that I’m not just taking up space.”

Chmerkovskiy previously said he felt “guilty” leaving Ukraine.

He has previously said that while he's since reunited with his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, and his kids after taking a flight home from Warsaw, Poland, he is struggling mentally.

He has previously said that while he’s since reunited with his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, and his kids after taking a flight home from Warsaw, Poland, he is struggling mentally.
(Fox News Digital)

“It’s surreal to be honest,” Chmerkovskiy said in his first interview since his return to California. “This is a country and the country’s on fire, so it was very difficult to process for me because we’re used to fly out, do some stuff, experience some things and always fly back. And here I am unable to fly home. That to me was the biggest sort of moment of understanding like you’re in trouble.”

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The 42-year-old was born in Ukraine but also has citizenship in the United States. He said that while he’s since reunited with his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, and his kids after taking a flight home from Warsaw, Poland, he is struggling mentally.

“Yeah, I feel guilty. I feel bad. I feel shamed. I feel upset,” Chmerkovskiy admitted in the interview with “Good Morning America.”

“I’m still very much in a fight or flight. I’m a big boy. I know for a fact that I’m going through something mentally. I get into these crying moments. I can’t control it. I cried on the way from the airport. I felt embarrassed the entire ride back because I was the only man on the train amongst all women and children,” he said.

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Before the professional ballroom dancer fled his native country, he was arrested for breaking curfew. He says authorities who stopped him recognized him from television.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues after President Vladimir Putin launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24. 

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report

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