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Celebrities of Ukrainian and Russian descent are speaking out about the Russia-Ukraine crisis among signs that the Ukrainian capital was increasingly threatened early Friday.
Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.
Ukranian-born star Maks Chmerkovskiy, a choreographer known for showcasing his talents on “Dancing with the Stars,” revealed on Thursday that he’s currently in his native country and communicated his fear as he planned to head to a bomb shelter.
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Chmerkovskiy shared a glimpse of the scene unfolding in the heart of Kyiv, where parents could be seen walking with their children with bags and suitcases, desperate to get out. The “Dancing with the Stars” pro wrote in his caption that he will “never be the same.” He said it’s bringing back “old feelings” from the 1990s when his family left the country.
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“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.
“Conjuring” actress Vera Farmiga, who has Ukrainian roots, posted to Instagram the country’s flag along with some lyrics from its national anthem. She used the hashtag #IStandWithUkraiine.
Regina Spektor, a Grammy-nominated singer, compared Putin’s actions to the Nazis during World War II in an Instagram post.
“Today my heart hurts because no matter how many great works of art and music (Guernica…. Masters Of War… Most of Okudzhava and Vysotsky… Vonnegut… Remarque… all those films in all those languages…) portray the horrors of war, new Masters of War seem to rise up again in all the nations… Sending new children to slaughter each other,” wrote Spektor, 42, who was born in Moscow before her family left the former Soviet Union for New York City in 1989.
“There were, and still are, real Nazis in the world. But in Ukraine that are just millions of civilians being pulled into a war, and in Russia there are children being sent to fight and die for no reason other than the bottomless and horror filled ‘more more more more more more more’ of politicians and corporations. And it’s terrifying.”
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Katheryn Winnick of “Vikings,” wrote on Instagram that she’s a “proud Ukrainian.”
“We are a Peaceful Country. We Do Not Deserve This War,” she wrote in a post on Thursday. She added that she woke up Thursday to text messages from her friends and family saying “it has begun.” “Some fleeing. Some taking shelter underground & others staying to fight.”
Ukrainian model Alexandra Kutas has been calling for others to oppose the invasion by Russia. She also asked Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Cyprus to “support cutting Russia off from SWIFT. As of now above motioned govts oppose this idea.”
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She also posted a photo of a destroyed building up in flames. “My beloved Kiyv. My homeland. I’m numb. Whenever you are outside of Ukraine go out today. Go to protest. We need to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine!!!! NOW!!! It will save innocent lives!!!!”
“90 Day Fiance” star Yara Zaya, 27, who was born and raised in Ukraine, described her heartbreak in an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday.
“It’s honestly really hard for me because, yes, I do live in the United States now, but Ukraine, it is my home,” Zaya said. “I love my country, and it’s just so hard for me to even think that in 2022, in this world right now, war still exists, and people can kill other people for land and money.”
Zaya said she’s spoken over the phone with friends in Kyiv, who woke up to explosions early Thursday.
“My friends are calling me all the time. I just talked to my friend, and she’s like, ‘Yara, I’m so scared. I’m hearing the bombs. I’m hearing the explosions. I don’t want to hear the noise,'” she said.
Explosions sounded before dawn in Kyiv and gunfire was reported in several areas, as Western leaders scheduled an emergency meeting and Ukraine’s president pleaded for international help to fend off an attack that could topple his democratically elected government, cause massive casualties and ripple out damage to the global economy.
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The military said Friday that a group of Russian spies and saboteurs was seen in a district on the outskirts of Kyiv, and police told people not to exit a subway station in the city center because there was gunfire in the area. Elsewhere in the capital, soldiers established defensive positions at bridges, and armored vehicles rolled down the streets, while many residents stood uneasily in doorways of their apartment buildings.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kyiv “could well be under siege” in what U.S. officials believe is a brazen attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to install his own regime.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.