Nikita Kuzmin talks about his Grandma's escape from Ukraine
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Nikita Kuzmin, 24, bravely spoke about the “heartbreaking” reality of his family being trapped in war-torn Ukraine. While some of his family have been able to escape, the Strictly Come Dancing star explained others were “too ill” to leave.
The Ukrainian dancer opened up about his family in a heartbreaking update when he appeared on Loose Women today.
The star described how, while some of his family had made it out, others were still trapped in Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing, brutal invasion.
Nikita was able to reconnect with his Grandma after she escaped from Ukraine and found refuge in Poland back in March.
The star appeared with fellow Strictly pro Graziano di Prima on Loose Women to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, recalling his emotional reunion with his grandmother on the Ukraine border.
Later in the programme, panellist Janet Street Porter asked Nikita about how he felt about the war in his home country.
“It’s quite heartbreaking and overwhelming with emotions,” he said. “I never thought I could feel this way about my country.
“When you have family and friends there and you grew up there and you see the streets one which you’ve been walking as a kid just bombed, and bombarded, and unfortunately people died.
“My granny was still there, and luckily after a month she managed to get to the border at Poland – I drove the car from Germany overnight to pick her up. My mother flew from Italy.”
While Nikita confirmed his grandmother is now safe, he went on to explain how some of his family have been unable to leave.
He said: “We are not able to take them out because of health conditions, so it’s constantly on my mind.
“I don’t want to make it about myself, it’s nothing about me, it’s about the heroes who are defending our country.
“It’s all about them, so I’m just praying to god that this is going to end soon.”
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Nikita became a Strictly cast member for the first time last year, teaming up with Tilly Ramsay – daughter of famous chef Gordon Ramsay.
The pair finished in sixth place behind Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova.
Rose Ayling-Ellis went on to win the series with her partner Giovanni Pernice, making history as the first deaf contestant to raise the glitterball trophy.
Nikita has a large following on social media, and has been using his platform to inform people of the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
When Nikita appeared on The One Show back in March, he opened up about his friends back at home who are fighting for Ukraine.
He said: “All my friends, all the guys, that I grew up with, training with, competing against. They are all, right now, defending the country.
“We are all defending from the invasion. This is the only thing that keeps the country alive right now. Defending the country that we love.”
Reflecting on what his hometown looks like now, the dancer continued: “That’s exactly when it hits you home, when you start to see the streets where you’ve been walking, which you grew up, where all your childhood was being destroyed and bombed.
“It’s so heartbreaking and I’m just praying for the best.”
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