'Dancing With the Stars' Pro Peta Murgatroyd Almost Sent Husband Maks Chmerkovskiy a 'Goodbye Text' Amid Ukraine Invasion

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and his wife Peta Murgatroyd's worlds were turned upside down amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the time, the couple had been living separately due to Chmerkovskiy living in Ukraine part-time as he filmed World of Dance. The 42-year-old, who also appeared on the American version of Dancing With the Stars, made a frantic call to Murgatroyd to let her know that he was trying to escape the country amid the turmoil. "To get the phone call and to see him frantically packing his bags trying to get out of the hotel [and leave the country] was just like, I had a heart attack nearly," she recently told Entertainment Tonight. "I had to sit myself down and calm down for him. And then the next eight days were life-changing. Absolutely life-changing."

Things were so scary for the devoted wife and mother that she nearly did the unthinkable. "I mean, I literally wrote him a text, almost a goodbye text like if something happens," the 35-year-old added. Chmerkovskiy documented the harrowing experience of living in bomb shelters. He eventually left the country in March and reunited with his family. Murgatroyd shared a heartfelt post about the emotional reunion in an Instagram post on March 5.

"I never thought our family would be directly affected by this in our lifetime, I never thought what we are seeing on our TV's (sic) was a reality in 2022. I have never hugged him so tight," she captioned a series of photos, with one of the two embracing. "Shaking and forever grateful. Now it's time to heal. We cannot go back to our normal. Our lives are forever changed. We have a new normal, and that's OK."

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Now, he's using his platform to help others. He and his brother, fellow DWTS dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy launched a Baranova27 aid project. Their family immigrated to the U.S. in 1994. "[Things] didn't end or slow down — it got worse in Ukraine," Maksim explained via an Instagram video upon his return. "I want everybody 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. [The] humanitarian crisis is getting worse. People are getting hurt worse, there are more people hurt and there are more people affected."