Former Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy was in Ukraine when the Russian invasion occurred. Maksim shared a frightening video on Instagram from a balcony in Kyiv with sirens blaring in the background.
Maksim decided that he wanted to do something to help his native country. He told Good Morning America, “When I finally came back home and finally saw Peta and we had that emotional moment, that’s when I realized I’ve got to go back. I want opportunities to prove to my son, me as a man, I want him to be proud of me and maybe this is the opportunity to show exactly how to do it,” Maksim explained.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Maksim started a charity and named it Baranova 27. That is a nod to the address where he was born in Odesa in Ukraine. Maksim recently returned to Poland to help the refugees.
Real Housewives of New York alum Bethenny Frankel has been working tirelessly to help Ukraine. On March 7, 2022, Bethenny announced that her BStrong Foundation had raised $25 million to aid Ukraine, with $15 million to be dispersed inside of Ukraine, and $10 million going to help refugees.
Maksim took to Instagram with an update on the relief efforts. He also thanked Bethenny for uniting their charitable endeavors. Maksim wrote, “Thank you @bethennyfrankel and @bestrongglobal for bringing me in. I am looking forward to establishing this partnership and using our resources together with @baranova27 to help as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” the pro dancer added.
Bethenny told Entertainment Tonight that her BStrong Foundation, along with the Global Empowerment Mission, has raised more than $100 million for Ukraine, an act that Bethenny called “extraordinary.” Refugee relocation will receive the bulk of the funds.
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Bethenny praised Maksim for his efforts. “He has been talking to a bunch of different people. He wants to really sink his teeth in and have an impact. He is seeing what’s going on,” Bethenny explained. “He is seeing that he is making a difference and an impact, while it may not be raising money per say, it’s raising awareness, which is the real value.”
The Skinnygirl mogul continued, “He will see how it makes a difference, getting involved, and being passionate about it, and how you just can’t not do it. His wife [Peta Murgatroyd] is very supportive. Bethenny added, “I am proud for him to see what we have done in an extraordinarily short time.”
Bethenny knows that the Ukrainian refugees will need an incredible amount of aid. “This is a massive refugee crisis and even if everything went back to the way it was it can never go back to the way it was, because the country of Ukraine is in distress. The more people talk about it, the more people donate, the more we show our results,” she added.
RELATED: Dancing With The Stars Alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy Returns To The US From Ukraine; Reunites With Wife Peta Murgatroyd
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]