Maks Chmerkovskiy Returns to Poland to Help Refugees Escaping Ukraine: 'It Is Getting Worse'

Maks Chmerkovskiy went live on Instagram to discuss his plans in Poland and his Baranova27 fundraiser to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians

Maks Chmerkovskiy has returned to Europe amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine to help those in need.

The Dancing with the Stars pro went live on Instagram Sunday from the Polish capital city of Warsaw, and began by telling those tuning in that he was "fine" and "enjoyed some of that Los Angeles weather" after he returned home from Ukraine earlier this month.

"Saw my family, saw my friends, obviously spent some time. And we've been working. We've been working on tangible opportunities to help," said Chmerkovskiy, 42.

He then gave an update on Baranova27, a charitable organization for Ukrainian humanitarian aid named after the address where he, his brother Val Chmerkovskiy and their father were born in Odessa, Ukraine. The GoFundMe has raised over $138,000 since it launched on March 10.

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"We've been working diligently on making Baranova27 something that, as big as it took off, that it can continue that way," Chmerkovskiy said.

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Chmerkovskiy also said during the 14-minute Instagram Live that the devastation as a result of the ongoing war "didn't not end, or slow down — it got worse in Ukraine."

"I want everybody to understand what that means because everything that happened, happened fast, and it was traumatic and it was worldwide and everything," he explained. "But right now, it is getting worse. Humanitarian crisis is getting worse. People are getting hurt worse, there are more people hurt and there are more people affected."

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Maks Chmerkovskiy. Maksim Chmerkovskiy/Instagram

Commenting on the situation in Poland, Chmerkovskiy continued, "These towns are running out of space. This is an actual problem. A few towns already announced they cannot accept any more refugees. Currently where I'm at, in Warsaw, the middle of downtown, everywhere you go is Ukrainian. Everybody's a refugee."

The update comes two weeks after the star said in an interview with CNN that he wanted to return to Eastern Europe to help Ukrainians in need.

"I spent the last couple of days with survivor's remorse, and I'm currently working on an opportunity to go back," Chmerkovskiy told Anderson Cooper. "Probably sometime next week I'm going to go back to Poland and join efforts on the ground. Sort of want to justify my safe out that way."

RELATED VIDEO: Maks Chmerkovskiy Says He Feels 'Guilt' for Leaving Ukraine amid Russian Invasion: 'I'm Emotional'

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Details of the fighting change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.

"You don't know where to go, where to run, who you have to call. This is just panic," Liliya Marynchak, a 45-year-old teacher in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, told PEOPLE of the moment her city was bombed — one of numerous accounts of bombardment by the Russians.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.

Zelensky and Putin
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (L); Vladimir Putin. getty

With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

Putin, 69, insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy, 44, vowed not to bend.

"Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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