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Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev addresses the Ukraine crisis - 'It hits too close to home'

The Strictly star has expressed his sadness

Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev has broken his silence over Russia's invasion in Ukraine, which has saddened the world. The Russian-born dancer - who is married to Rachel Riley - confessed the heartbreaking conflict was "too close to home" in an emotional post.

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In an announcement, posted on Instagram on Wednesday, he wrote: "The current situation in Ukraine hits too close to home for the both of us as Russian nationals.

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WATCH: Rachel Riley melts hearts with adorable video of Pasha with their daughters

"Our passport may say one thing but our hearts are with our family, friends and everyone still in Ukraine that are fighting for freedom and lives."

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DONATE NOW: What can you do to help Ukraine?

Pasha, who has co-created Rise Up With the Arts with Anya Garni, explained how the proceeds from their performances will go to Save The Children charity.

"It only feels right that our show - Rise Up With the Arts, along with 3 charities that we are already supporting, will now focus on donating funds raised to the Save The Children charity that helps children and young people affected by this terrible conflict," the message continued.

"They say it takes a village to rise a child but this time it will take the whole world to make the change happen and end this madness. Let's make art not war! Pasha & Anya."

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Pasha released this emotional message

Fans were quick to applaud the message, with one writing: "Thank you Pasha. We have no argument with the Russian people. God help Russia! And God help us all." Another said: "Beautiful words Pasha."

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PARENTING ADVICE: How to talk to your children about the Ukraine/Russia conflict

A third post read: "I know many of your people don’t want this war either. It’s so sad and this is an amazing gesture! It shows the Ukrainian people, that not everyone who is Russian wants this either. This is a truly beautiful gesture."

Over the past few days, Pasha's wife Rachel has been tweeting her support to the people of Ukraine and sharing links on how her followers can help donate.

If you want to help the people of Ukraine amid the escalating Russian conflict, these are the charities in urgent need of donations: British Red Cross, International Medical Corps, UNICEF and CARE.

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