While providing a touching update on his brother, who is currently trapped in Ukraine, ‘DWTS’ star Val Chmerkovskiy urged with his Russian friends to’stand up to their dictator’ before any more innocent people were slaughtered by the government.
“My parents were forced to flee this nation for just this reason,” Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy said on Instagram on Thursday (Feb. 24). While performing, the Ukrainian-American dancer shared a video from The New York Times, which showed civilians fleeing the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as Russian troops invaded the country in 2014. He claims that his parents fled Ukraine “not because it wasn’t good to them, but because their children might ultimately face conflict.” Val, 35, is a native of Ukraine. My brother [Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy] is currently incarcerated in a bombshelter (sic) in [Kyiv], which is a bitter irony after 28 years.”
As Val wrote in his letter, if his parents had not opted to leave their native country, he would “now be on the front lines protecting my homeland.” Most sad of all, I would either be killed or die at the hands of my fellow brothers, which would be the most heartbreaking of all. This is something that the Russian people do not desire!! We stayed at one other’s sides the entire time. We were in love with one another and enjoyed each other’s company. “I speak Russian, to be sure, but make no mistake about it: I am a proud Ukrainian, and now the rest of the world will be able to tell the difference,” says the author.
“It’s Slava Ukraini all day, every day,” Val continued. Then there’s the fact that, for my Russian friends, this may be the best and only time to challenge your dictator.
Valentin followed up with another Instagram Story, this time describing the deaths of thirteen Ukrainian soldiers who were defending Zmiinyi (Snake) island. According to the BBC, Ukraine claims that the soldiers were subjected to aerial and naval bombardment, while Russia claims that no one was killed and that all of the forces surrendered. “This fight will not come to an end with surrender,” Valentin wrote. Partisan and guerilla fighting will continue as long as there are Ukrainians still alive after the military has been defeated,” says the author. Both sides will suffer a significant number of casualties for many years to come. Why are mothers going to be sad, why are children going to grow without fathers?”
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Maks, a 42-year-old Ukrainian filmmaker, had released two movies taken in Kyiv, the country’s capital, just hours before Val’s message. “There’s ALWAYS another way to do things!” “WAR is NEVER an answer!” he said in the description of the first video, which showed the city in a state of terror while air raid sirens blared in the background. ‘I keep my strength, and I don’t let it show, but I really want to go back home,’ he says in the second video. “I recognize that I have a method to get there,” he says in the first video. My passport is different, and my family is far away, but what I’m realizing is that many of my friends’ children are here, as well as their mothers and fathers, as well as their older relatives. They are unable to simply flee.”