Politics Maks Chmerkovskiy Posts Tearful Clips from Kyiv as Russia Invades Ukraine: 'I Want to Go Back Home' Maks Chmerkovskiy shared a series of videos to Instagram Thursday that gave his followers a glimpse of the Russian invasion in Kyiv, Ukraine By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Website Jen Juneau is a News and Movies Staff Writer at PEOPLE. She started at the brand in 2016 and has more than 15 years' professional writing experience. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 24, 2022 09:52AM EST Share Tweet Pin Email Maks Chmerkovskiy is sharing his "emotional" experience from near the center of Kyiv, Ukraine. The Ukrainian-born dancer, 42, posted a series of videos to his Instagram Thursday afternoon local time, in which he is standing on a balcony in the country's capital as military sirens can be heard from the streets below. "I'm in Kyiv, contrary to what I probably should've done a while ago … and not that no one saw this coming, but everybody was hoping that the finality of this situation would be averted, that there wasn't going to be these kind of aggressive measures," Chmerkovskiy says of the Russian invasion that recently began to unfold. For more on what's happening in Ukraine, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day. In a second video, the Dancing with the Stars alum is seen tearing up as he pans the camera to show the "reality" of the situation and the nearby city center, saying "it's been a little difficult" to witness the fallout and adding, "You know me — I stay strong, and I don't show it." "But I want to go back home. And I realize that I have the way to — I realize that I have a different passport, and my family is far away," continues Chmerkovskiy, who is married to fellow DWTS pro Peta Murgatroyd and shares one child, 5-year-old son Shai Aleksander, with her. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Biden Denounces "Premeditated War" in Ukraine After Putin Announces "Special Military Operation" Chmerkovskiy goes on to plead with Russian forces to cease conflict, as he is "about to go into a bomb shelter because s---'s going down." "In 2022's civilized world, this is not the way we do things," he says to the camera. "I think the Russians need to get up and actually say something, because no one's opinion is being heard. This is all one man's ambition of something, and however convenient it sounds in Moscow, however comfortable you are where you are in Russia, I just don't think this is the right thing." Maks Chmerkovskiy. Maks Chmerkovskiy/ instagram The invasion began shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in the Donbas area of Ukraine, a separatist region in the country which he said this week should be independent — a move rejected by the U.S. and Ukraine. In a televised address, Putin said the operation is to "demilitarize" Ukraine and that Ukrainian servicemen who put down their arms will be able to safely leave the combat zone, per the Associated Press. He also issued a warning to anyone who tried to intervene, saying they "must know that Russia's answer will be immediate, and will lead to such consequences as you never experienced in your history," according to The New York Times. Chmerkovskiy says in his video footage, "I'm uneasy, I'm very scared … but I do know, at the very least, I have a chance. I have a passport and a way out. A lot of people here do not, and it's f---ing nonsense." What's at Stake in Russia-Ukraine Crisis: War, Economic Hardship and World Order "Pulled at the Seams" Chmerkovskiy wraps his video by saying how much he loves his home country, explaining, "I have [had] a f---ing incredible pleasure to spend, on the ground, about six months now, and I've fell back in love — I never fell out of love, but I know now who these people are. I know who this country is, what it represents, what it stands for." "And it's completely not what is being portrayed to the Russian people in order to justify this invasion," he continues. The father of one ends by asking his fans and followers "to please respect a little bit about our situation at this time" and not "bombard" wife Murgatroyd, 35, with messages. Murgatroyd appears to be in the U.S. "It's not what's important right now," Chmerkovskiy says. "I'm gonna do my best to try and keep you informed. I'm not a journalist — I have absolutely no reason to do this other than I just want an opinion of someone else, 'cause news is crazy and the reports have been insane. Love you all." He captioned his first post, "There's ALWAYS another way! WAR is NEVER an answer! #standwithukraine P.S. I will never be the same. This is stressful and I'm getting old feelings back, like I've done this before. This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD I've finally fixed is coming back. I literally only just forgot about those 'always on the edge' feelings and actually started worrying about things like bbq grills. I'm crying as I'm typing this because all man deserves to worry about 'bbq grills' and not f---ing war. Hug your loved ones." With Russia's invasion now fully underway, Ukrainian officials said forces were crossing from the north, south and east in a still-evolving attack. The first explosions were reportedly heard around 5 a.m. Thursday and airstrikes have since occurred in multiple cities, including Kharkiv, Kramatorsk and the capital of Kyiv, the Associated Press reported. Ukrainian officials said at least 40 people had been killed already with several injuries in what Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called a "full-scale" invasion of the country, according to the AP and other reports.