Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin has detailed his grandmother’s journey from Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
he professional dancer, 24, who worked with Tilly Ramsay in the last series of the BBC One show, was born and raised in Ukraine before moving to Italy at the age of nine.
Speaking about his grandmother on The One Show, he said: “She managed to escape from Kyiv.
“We didn’t know if she was going to make it on the way from Kyiv to Poland, the roads the bus passes, you don’t know if the Russian troops are going to shoot the bus, and we were worried all the time there was two points of attack.
“At the border she had to walk five miles, she hadn’t walked until she had surgery last year so her instincts kicked in and she pulled through and she surprised us.
“She’s just so brave and I just love her so much.”
The dancer revealed his grandmother had arrived 13 hours ahead of schedule but said it was “heartbreaking” to see other families at the station suffering.
Kuzmin and his family relocated to Italy from Ukraine to support his sister’s dance career, which helped his own career to flourish.
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He said that all his childhood friends, people he’s trained with and competed against, “are fine now defending the country from invasion.”
“It’s exactly when it hits you home, when you start to see the streets you walked, grew up, where your whole childhood was, destroyed, bombed, right now, and it’s honest Said just heartbreaking and I’m just praying for the best.
“I still have my grandparents in Kyiv, my aunt, for the moment they are safe, but obviously we just try to call them every day and hope they answer.
“Every day you just hope for the best,” added Kuzmin.
It comes as stars Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Nile Rodgers announce they will be performing at the Concert For Ukraine, a two-hour fundraiser raising money for Ukraine’s humanitarian appeal.
Kuzmin added: “It’s so inspiring to see everyone coming together. I can just feel the love and appreciation from around the world and honestly in these terrible times it’s one of the things that keeps you going.
“I think all Ukrainians feel support from all over the world.
“We were in Prague with my grandmother and there was a Ukrainian flag everywhere and I could just see from the mirror of the car that she was sitting in the back and she was smiling so much because you could really feel welcome.”
Kuzmin became a six-time Italian champion in Latin and Ballroom and later joined the German version of Strictly, Let’s Dance.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/strictly-dancer-nikita-kuzmin-details-grandmothers-escape-from-ukraine-41472118.html The strict dancer Nikita Kuzmin describes the grandmother’s “escape” from Ukraine