Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin called on the UK Government to help Ukraine by helping to bankroll its war effort, as he told of his fears for the safety of his grandma who is stranded in the country.
The pro dancer, 24, spoke on ITV's Lorraine on Thursday morning where he revealed several of his family members – including his grandma – are still in Ukraine.
Nikita, who was paired up with Tilly Ramsay on the show, said he was "struggling to compose" himself over the ongoing conflict in his home country and is worried about his family despite his grandma reassuring him of her safety.
He said: "We still have connections to her, we are video calling her all the time, she is trying to protect us from being scared.
"Every time we can hear a gunshot or explosions in the background, she’s telling us it’s a movie on the TV but only a couple of hours after [we speak] she’s confessing it’s real… it’s incredibly scary."
Strictly Come Dancing's Tilly Ramsay pays touching tribute to BBC co-star
The dancer also issued a heartfelt plea to the Government to help the effort in Ukraine as he advised what viewers at home could do to help.
Addressing the Government, he said: "Please help us cover this… there is a disparity between the Ukrainian and Russian governments… [Russia] are bombing everything right now.
"They are trying to disconnect us from our families. They need help.
"To the hospitals, if you can admit some of the children who need help, contact the Ukrainian embassy.
"It’s so inspiring to see the Ukrainian people fight… Everyone’s coming together to defend our country."
He added that people who wished to help his country could donate cash to the national bank of Ukraine who are raising funds for humanitarian aid and for the Ukrainian army.
The Strictly pro has been sharing videos on Instagram in recent days of the ongoing invasion of his country by Russia.
He shared a clip filmed from an apartment block in Kyiv near where some of his family live, where blasts could be heard in the background and showed a military vehicle stopping at a car park.
Nikita wrote alongside his post: "This is happening in Kiev, in Obolon – where I grew up. My grandma, is right there, couple of minutes away.
"Later in this video, you can see a tank going over a civilian car with innocent people in it."
Since the invasion began more than a million Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes.
Yesterday Russian forces seized control of Kherson, a key port city in southern Ukraine, according to its mayor.
It is the first major city Russia has seized since it began its invasion a week ago.
Its mayor, Igor Kolykhaev, said Russian troops had forced their way into the city council building and imposed a curfew on residents.
There were also several loud explosions heard around Ukraine's capital Kyiv yesterday.
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