With Maksim Chmerkovskiy stuck in Ukraine as Russian forces began bombing, Peta Murgatroyd wondered if she'd ever see her husband again. Desperate to pour her heart out, she sent him a message, all while knowing that it might be the last one he ever saw.
"I literally wrote him a text, almost a goodbye text like if something happens," she told "Entertainment Tonight" on Thursday, April 7.
While Peta was in Los Angeles, Maksim had been in Kyiv judging the "World of Dance Ukraine" competition. On Feb. 24, Russia began launching rockets. After a few days in the Ukrainian capital, Maksim escaped to Poland via train.
"To get the phone call and to see him frantically packing his bags trying to get out of the hotel was just like, I had a heart attack nearly. I had to sit myself down and calm down for him," Peta said. "And then the next eight days [that Chmerkovskiy was there] were life-changing. Absolutely life-changing."
Maksim documented much of his ordeal on Instagram, giving followers a real-time depiction of what was happening in Kyiv.
The former "Dancing With The Stars" pro eventually made it to Los Angeles, but he soon returned to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees.
"I was lucky that Peta was with me on this. I made that commitment. We are working with Barnova 27, my organization. We're pushing out. We're working on other ways of getting other things into the country and what's needed," he told "ET." "We're working on developing livable towns, makeshift towns that can maybe serve as something else, [trying] to attract technology, 3D printing and so on."
"This is what I'm dedicating myself [to], but I think it's very important to also make sure people don't forget about it," he continued. "I realized when I got home that this is so far away and it's hard to retell the story over and over. So, I'm just using this opportunity to also say, like, 'It's going on right now.' People are just now starting to need even more help, and we should stay with it."