Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the Ukraine-born former Dancing With the Stars pro who earlier this month chronicled on social media his flight home to Los Angeles via Poland from war-ravaged Kyiv, has returned to Poland to assist in humanitarian relief efforts.
Chmerkovskiy announced his latest efforts in an Instagram video posted from Poland last night (see it below).
“Hi everybody,” he says in the video. “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.” Chmerkovskiy says he has been “working on tangible opportunities to help,” and announces that he and his family, including his brother and father, have started a charitable organization Baranova 27 and a Go Fund Me page.
“For those of who’ve been following, Baranova 27 is the address where my father, myself and Val were born, in Odesa in Ukraine,” Chmerkovskiy says. “So, that’s where sort of our roots are at. And we’ve been working diligently on making Baranova 27 something that, as big as it took off, that it can continue that way.”
Chmerkovskiy says he will work on the ground in Poland to organize and distribute aid, and adds that he will assist Bethenny Frankel’s charitable organization BStrong in its efforts for Ukraine.
The dancer, who had been filming a project in Kyiv called World of Dance UA when the Russian invasion began, concludes his Instagram message by encouraging his viewers to maintain interest in the ongoing crisis.
“I would really, really like for you guys to give yourself a day off” Chmerkovskiy says. “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.”
The humanitarian crisis, Chmerkovskiy says, “is getting worse, people are getting hurt worse.”
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