Maks Chmerkovskiy Says He 'Made It on the Train' Out of Ukraine, Details 'Traumatizing' Escape

"We're heading to Warsaw (hopefully)," Maks Chmerkovskiy said on social media, where he has been documenting his experience during the Russian invasion

Maks Chmerkovskiy says he has found a way out of Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

On Monday afternoon local time, the Dancing with the Stars pro, 42, gave an update on his Instagram Story. "I made it on the train. We're heading to Warsaw (hopefully). Train to Lviv was not an option. The situation at the train station is insane," he wrote to his followers.

"AT first it feels manageable, but it gets A LOT worse when it comes time to actually board the train. Long story but all I can say now is that I'm a big man with nothing but a backpack it's TRAUMATIZING," the father of one wrote.

"Currently, I'm in a cabin with 4 adults and 7 kids (ages 2-11) which usually is only occupied by maximum of 3 people. There's usually up to 30 people in this particular wagon. We were told we have to fit 135. Walkways are packed. People everywhere. It's sweaty and claustrophobic," he wrote.

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In a separate Instagram Story message, Chmerkovskiy continued, "What finally broke me is when I was watching an eight-ish year old boy, hysterically crying and not wanting to let go of his father. Verbatim 'if you stay I want to stay too because if they kill you I won't be able to help.' "

The details of how Chmerkovskiy got out of Ukraine are not yet known. Men in the age range of 18-60 had reportedly been prohibited from leaving the country under a mobilization order.

Thousands of people have fled or tried to escape Ukraine amid warnings of a possible "refugee crisis."

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Instagram
Maksim Chmerkovskiy Instagram
Maks Chmerkovskiy Says He 'Made It on the Train' Out of Ukraine, Details 'Traumatizing' Escape
Maks Chmerkovskiy/Instagram

Chmerkovskiy's wife, Peta Murgatroyd, reposted his travel update on her Instagram Story. "@maksimc YOU CAN DO IT!! Get bak home! I am so f------ proud of you for helping those kids on board!" she wrote. Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd, who wed in 2017, share 5-year-old son Shai.

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in a televised address.

The attack is still evolving but hundreds have been reported dead or wounded, including children, with threats mounting against the capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million people. This is the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said 406 civilian casualties had been counted as of Sunday night, including 102 deaths with seven kids among them. Ukraine's health ministry reported more than 350 civilians killed, including 14 children, since the attacks began last week, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The invasion has drawn widespread condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia. Various countries have also pledged aid or military support to Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called for peace talks while urging his country to resist.

Meanwhile, Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the interest of so-called "peacekeeping."

Maks Chmerkovskiy Says He 'Made It on the Train' Out of Ukraine, Details 'Traumatizing' Escape
Maks Chmerkovskiy/Instagram

Earlier on Monday, Chmerkovskiy — who has been sharing his experiences amid the invasion since last week — said on his social media that "at one point I got arrested," adding, "That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me, it was just a reality check." (It was not immediately clear what led to Chmerkovskiy's detainment.)

In a previous video on Sunday, the pro dancer tearfully told fans and followers: "This is a war. This is a crazy situation. It's insane and I'm losing my final little things. This is not a cry for help. I'm a big boy. I can handle myself… but I'm starting to not be able to just sort of keep my head."

Expressing gratitude for those who are spreading awareness about the war and providing resources to refugees, Chmerkovskiy said, "The reality is, I just want to go home. I'm just hoping for a safe ending to it all."

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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