• Maksim Chmerkovskiy was recently arrested in Ukraine
  • He says being on Dancing with the Stars saved him
  • Chmerkovskiy spent his childhood in Ukraine

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is opening up about the experience of being arrested in his home country of Ukraine recently! The pro dancer appeared on Good Morning America on Friday, talking about the situation in detail for the first time and sharing why they ultimately decided to let him go.

Chmerkovskiy reveals he was recognized as DWTS judge

Chmerkovskiy had been in Ukraine to judge the competition show World of Dance, but the country was being invaded by Russian forces at the time of his visit. A few days ago, he updated his social media followers with the news that he was arrested after breaking curfew. During the interview, he said he got asked for his passport upon arrest, and mentioned he could speak Russian. However, he was fortunate enough to have been a familiar face over there!

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Was Arrested In Ukraine!

The professional dancer and choreographer told Good Morning America that he was recognized for appearing on DWTS while he was getting arrested. "Then the guy next to him goes, 'Oh, that's the judge from Dancing With the Stars. That's Maks. I know him. He's from TV.,'" Chmerkovskiy explained. He said his celebrity status "absolutely" saved him in that moment, since they told him to go inside instead of detaining him.

Also interesting:

Chmerkovskiy may not have been in any immediate danger while returning to his home country, but he reflected on the unsettling situation. "I'm just realizing that I'm not in a place where I should be," he said of his thoughts in the moment, calling the war between Russia and Ukraine "difficult to process." He also explained that he felt "emotional," moved to tears as he departed Ukraine. We're glad that Chmerkovskiy managed to make it back to the United States safely!