Ukrainian Bellator champion Yaroslav Amosov details Russia's invasion: 'Dead bodies all over'

Ukraine's Yaroslav Amosov joins Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole to share his first-hand account of the atrocities being committed in his country. The 28-year-old Bellator champion doesn't know when he'll return to fighting, but has continued training while also helping defend his homeland.

Video Transcript

KEVIN IOLE: Hey, everybody. I am Kevin Iole. And welcome to Yahoo Sports. I have a special guest right now. I wish I could say I was getting ready to talk to him about his upcoming fight. Unfortunately, he's got a fight of a different kind of much more serious fight.

I'm talking to Bellator Welterweight Champion Yaroslav Amosov. He's participating in war in Ukraine, defending his homeland against the invasion from Russia. Yaroslav, how are you doing? And where are you at right now?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I am feeling OK. I am currently in my city of Irpin. Besides everything that's going on, I'm feeling very well. I just got out of training. And I got on the call with you guys.

KEVIN IOLE: Now, how actively are you involved in the war? Like, what is your job? And what are you doing during the fighting?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I am participating in territorial defense where we defend our city. I walk around with the gun in my hand. And we just fulfill the tasks that they give us.

KEVIN IOLE: Have you faced any, you know, live fire? Have you been in any combat situations since the war began? You're-- personally yourself?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Yes, it's very hard to be participating in those kind of situations. It's something that everybody is used to. But, again, we've had gunfire, live fire.

It's not something you don't really know what to do when you first get there. You kind of figure it out a way. And, again, it's not something I've ever done before.

KEVIN IOLE: No, of course. None of us have done that. What-- talk me through the decision what it was like when you decided-- I mean, did you have a choice? Did you have to serve? And did you have to do this? Or did you have a choice you can make that-- you know, stay in your job or go forward and serve your country in this manner?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: To be honest, I don't know what people are saying I wasn't in Ukraine. I came back four days before the war started.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: When the war first started, my first initial thoughts was to get my family out as soon as I can. At that moment, we-- I did not have any thoughts about participating in any camps or keeping up with my career. I simply was just-- my thoughts were to get my family out alive and moving forward with all of this.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: He said, I was going to say something, but I forgot my thoughts. [LAUGHS]

KEVIN IOLE: Well, is he-- his family out of Ukraine now? Are they in a safe place where he doesn't have to worry about their safety? And tell me about his family, his wife and children.

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Yes, I did not take my family out of Ukraine. I got them out to the safe zone, where they will be OK, and there is not much fire going on. They're doing well. I visited them a little bit long ago. But overall, everything's pretty good. And they're in a safe spot.

KEVIN IOLE: OK, you know, we see on the news here there's a lot of war crimes and atrocities. You know, I-- you read about some of the Russian soldiers are raping the Ukrainian women. There have been bombing of shelters and things like that.

Have you seen any of those kind of things? Have you-- you know, where you've been, have seen any atrocities or anything that would be considered war crimes compared to where you are right now?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Yes, I've seen many situations like this with my own eyes regarding the war crimes. I can confirm that it is true, whatever they're doing. I can tell how they bomb the cities and stuff that they're leaving behind. Everything destruction. After the Russian soldiers leave, there's just dead bodies laying on the floor.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Yeah, and, you know, the people that were getting killed is just regular civilians. Their bodies were all over the floor. Nobody cleaned them up. They were laying on the floor for two, three weeks. And there's just regular people who showed no aggressions-- regular citizens.

They were just all either going somewhere or hiding. Again, with them bombing shelters, people didn't-- people were scared. They were afraid to leave the shelters because there's a lot of bombings going on. And people could just-- the soldiers, the Russian soldiers, they could just come in into the shelters. Because there is so many people already killed.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

KEVIN IOLE: Go on.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Again, the cities that are next to my city, they're all destroyed. There is civilian bodies under all the destruction. They're just laying there.

People running out. They're leaving everything behind. They don't care about materialistic things. They just want to stay alive.

We came up with the green corridors, where people can escape, if they need to, from all the destruction. But the Russian soldiers, they have shut it down. And they shut down the green corridors. And they started shooting at a regular civilians when they try to leave.

And, again, nobody was cleaning up the bodies. The bodies are just staying there for two, three weeks.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, in terms of Ukraine is doing so well-- a lot better in the war, I think, than a lot of people have thought you would. I guess in fighting terms it would be kind of like a heavyweight fighting against a bantamweight, right? A country that has a superpower and all these materials.

Is that talk about the spirit that you guys have in Ukraine to defend your country the fact that you've been able to hold out against this massive superpower for so long and still control most of the territory in Ukraine?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Yes, I think we were underestimated. And I think that we are motivated to defend our country because this is our home, and our family lives here.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: And when it came down to us, when we understood that we have to defend our families, we went out and we did it. A lot of volunteers came out to support. People were grabbing guns in their own hands-- regular civilians. Again, some people were supporting on the media, on the social platforms.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Yes, when we were going to battle or we were sitting in a battle waiting for the opposition to come, I took a look. And everybody who stood up in our circle, it was a mix of people. It could have been politicians. It could be ex-millionaires.

At that moment, it didn't really matter who they were. Everybody was completely equal. Everybody was ready to defend their country. And they were ready to stand up.

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Everything was going all over Ukraine. A lot of people were helping. Besides Ukraine, people outside of Ukraine we're also helping. Some people sent equipment. Some people sent food.

Everybody was trying to help the best they can. A lot of people volunteered. But right now, since the Russian soldiers have left for a little bit, well, it's a little calm out there.

KEVIN IOLE: I know fighting is just a small thing given what you're going through right now. But you mentioned earlier your training. Do you believe that you're going to be able to fight again someday? And if so, how soon? And also, what kind of training are you doing on a regular basis?

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: So yes, I am planning to stay in the MMA world. Hopefully, in the upcoming future, I can come back. And I will prove that I have this belt for a reason. Right now, I am doing just recovery trainings to recover my shape. So it's somewhat light training.

KEVIN IOLE: I want to ask you this, Yaroslav. The boxer Oleksandr Usyk is going to actually fight Anthony Joshua. He's been in the war as well. And he's going to go away to fight Anthony Joshua.

What do you make of that? I mean, do you support that decision to allow him to go fight? And will that provide any kind of lift for the people in Ukraine to see-- you know, that's a little bit of normalcy if one of their own is able to go out and do something like that.

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I think it's good for him to go out and train. I wish him luck and preparation in the fight. People of Ukraine, they took it normal. From what I heard, a lot of people wanted him to leave the country and go train.

KEVIN IOLE: Well, Yaroslav, I appreciate you taking the time. God bless you. Be safe. And I guess the best thing is we hope to be able to see you fight again. But good luck to Ukraine and best of luck to you.

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

YAROSLAV AMOSOV: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: He said thank you very much. Health and happiness to you.