There hasn’t been much in the way of good news coming out of Ukraine lately.
Ever since Russian tanks rolled in over a week ago, the sovereign nation has been the site of one of the world’s most appalling humanitarian crises.
Reports that Russia is being stymied by a tougher-than-expected Ukrainian resistance might be a source of encouragement for some, but the situation remains tragic beyond measure, and there’s no hope of resolution in sight.
But at least one family who had their world upended by the conflict can finally breathe a sigh of relief following a week of pure terror.
Dancing With the Stars performer Maksim Chmerkovskiy was in Ukraine filming a new dance competition show at the time of the invasion.
Maksim was born in Ukraine but had not lived there since he was a child.
Like all Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60, Chmerkovskiy was not permitted to leave the country, and there were fears that he would be forced to fight despite having lived in the US for most of the past 30 years.
Chmerkovskiy shared updates from Ukraine throughout his terrifying ordeal.
In a series of frightening videos, he encouraged fans to focus not on him, but on the plight of people who live in the country permanently, many of whom have nowhere to run to.
Earlier this week, Maksim got arrested, presumably by Ukrainian authorities, but was quickly released.
“[There’s] a lot of fighting everywhere. Streets are crazy. At one point I got arrested. … But all good, promise,” Chmerkovskiy said in one of his videos.
“That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me, it was a reality check.”
He didn’t go into specifics regarding this brush with the law, but it appears to have made an impression on Chmerkovskiy.
The same day that he revealed he’d been arrested, the 42-year-old announced that he would be making his way out of Ukraine.
That evening, he offered another update, this time revealing that he had boarded a train bound for Poland.
Now, the New York Post is reporting that Chmerkovskiy was spotted with his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, at LAX on Wednesday.
Throughout her husband’s ordeal in Ukraine, Murgatroyd implored fans to pray that her husband would make it safely home to her and the couple’s 5-year-old son, Shai.
“I don’t usually ask these things from my social media network, however today is extremely hard and the next few will be even harder,” she wrote on Instagram.
“My pain is overwhelming and I’m struggling, but you sending your positive light and love to him would mean the world to me," Peta continued.
"Truly, I wish for nothing more.”
This is, of course, just a small silver lining in the massive dark cloud that is the conflict in Ukraine.
Fighting continues day and night, and experts say that despite the valiant effort put forth by the Ukrainian people there’s little chance that Russian president Vladimir Putin will withdraw his forces anytime soon.
We congratulate Maksim and Peta on their reunion, and our thoughts continue to go out to all who have been impacted by this conflict.