#323 – Yevhenii, Live From Ukraine

Sevan Matossian (00:00):

Phonetically ye GU ye

Yevhenii (00:04):

Yeah, exactly.

Sevan Matossian (00:05):

Ye GU. That could be in arm. That could be in arm. You have GU

Yevhenii (00:09):

Yeah. It’s full name.

Sevan Matossian (00:12):

Ye GU you have. And what’s your last name?

Yevhenii (00:14):

Uh, lamb IKO.

Sevan Matossian (00:19):

Ke Leko An O yeah,

Yevhenii (00:27):

It’s actually Ukrainian’s, uh, last name

Sevan Matossian (00:31):

And you are Ukrainian.

Yevhenii (00:33):

Uh, yep.

Sevan Matossian (00:34):

And you’re in the Ukraine?

Yevhenii (00:37):

Yep. I’m born in Ukraine and live in Ukraine all the time.

Sevan Matossian (00:41):

And you’re in the famous city odea?

Yevhenii (00:44):

No, no. Uh, actually I’m from north of Ukraine. Uh, it’s AGA regime. Uh, it’s bomb up now, maybe you hear about it. Yes. And, uh, I leave sometime, uh, in Kyo. Yeah. A couple of years. And then I arrive to odea and, uh, quite a, maybe a year, we now here

Sevan Matossian (01:08):

In Odesa

Yevhenii (01:09):

In Odesa. Yes.

Sevan Matossian (01:11):

Is, is Odesa the famous town where there was the meeting during world war II between

Yevhenii (01:20):

Church? Yeah, there, there was some, some events, uh, in the world war II, but I think he of, uh, mostly famous on, on this, uh, on the world war.

Sevan Matossian (01:36):

I think, I, I think I filmed an arm wrestling tournament in Odesa many, many, many years ago.

Yevhenii (01:45):

And maybe, you know, I, I’m not the AESA citizen. I live, uh, in New York here, so I not too much know about AESA. Yeah. Uh, I can tell you about the key asked about my own town, the city, the, a little city in the north of Ukraine, but I’m the, in the desert, you know, there is, uh, uh, some special culture here, uh, special people. It’s very interesting. It’s like, like the piece of culture of Japan, it’s a big deal, you know?

Sevan Matossian (02:23):

And, and, and it’s a, it’s a beach town.

Yevhenii (02:26):

Yep. Uh, beach town and, uh, the rest city, uh, many, uh, infrastructure for, for rest.

Sevan Matossian (02:37):

Yeah. Say that one more time. It’s a beach town. And what,

Yevhenii (02:41):

Uh, rest city city for resting.

Sevan Matossian (02:43):

Oh, resting. Resting. Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Resting, resting. Um, can Caleb, can you pull, are you on a phone? Um, are you on a phone? You have GU or are you on a computer

Yevhenii (02:54):

On the phone now?

Sevan Matossian (02:55):

Yes. Okay. Can you, so we’re gonna have a map just out occasionally so that people who are watching can, can really start to visualize where this is at in the world. Um, can you tell me, um, basically what’s going on, I’m gonna ask you just some really naive questions, but is, is Ukraine at war? Has, has, has Russia declared war on the Ukraine?

Yevhenii (03:23):

Yes. You know, we have a terrible war now. It’s not, not just war now. It’s, uh, mostly like a terrorism cause, uh, civilians and children dying, uh, infrastructure is been destroyed. No, our life now it’s, uh, produced to the some, uh, meeting basic needs, you know, uh, don’t be the kill or blow up. Yes. Uh, to find some food. Yes. And to take care of loved ones. And that’s all that we can do now.

Sevan Matossian (03:58):

And, and how many people, what’s the population of Ukraine?

Yevhenii (04:02):

Uh, it’s near 40 million.

Sevan Matossian (04:05):

And what we’re hearing now in the United States, the, the news is telling us that a million, 1.5 million people have led the country.

Yevhenii (04:13):

Yeah. It’s true story. Cause I, I heard it, uh, every day from my friends and I, I think about it, I think what I can do and go away from this, uh, horror, you know?

Sevan Matossian (04:29):

Um, where, where is your family? Where are your mom and dad?

Yevhenii (04:32):

Yeah. It’s very interesting question. Cause, uh, my father now, uh, sit in ke he go on the work, uh, right before the first bump was, uh, on the key. Yes. And he left there for the 10, 10 days role now. And, uh, he alone there, but, uh, it’s, it’s quite, uh, normal situation in that re in ke in, in that, in, and my mother in the, uh, north on Deko Ukraine. Yes. It’s uh, the place where, uh, army Russian army go to Kyo. So, uh, there is many militaries in the streets. Yes. And they, uh, can go to your home yes. And take that, what that, that they want. Yes. They can, uh, just kill you and it’s terrible situation. So I’m on, on the phone with my mom and, uh, today, half of the day they don’t have, uh, any, any mobile phone. Uh, so I, I can talk with yes. And then, uh, the, uh, I, I, I can, uh, talk with her and, uh, she said everything good now, but we don’t know, uh, how it, uh, be after five minutes, you know? Cause there was, uh, there were

Sevan Matossian (06:12):

No, no you’re doing great. Um, when, I mean, this is kind of a hard question. I don’t know if you know the answer, but when the cell, when the cell phone service stops, is it because they destroyed the infrastructure or is it because they have control of it and they’re turning it off?

Yevhenii (06:27):

Uh, you know, uh, they, every time try to remove something, they try to broke something. And uh, now I don’t know. It’s so tech, technical problems not, they destroyed. Okay. Cause, uh, cause mostly of, uh, cell phone, uh, is good now and in internet too,

Sevan Matossian (06:51):

Caleb, can you show me the map of the Ukraine one more time and we hang out on this second. Why is Russia declared war on the Ukraine?

Yevhenii (07:02):

Mm, I think you, you can, uh, can see this is a lot of, uh, lot of information. Yes. But uh, the main, the main side was, uh, cause people of Ukraine want to be yes. And they want to have government that, uh, uh, go to the some Euro and stuff. Yes. And, uh, the government of Russia want to have yes. Want to have, uh, the, they want to take their, uh, people yes. And say what to do, don’t want to, uh, help free people. And that’s why I put in, uh, he, he hates brain, I think.

Sevan Matossian (07:58):

So. So you think it’s a personal issue. You think he, you think that Putin it’s a personal issue that he doesn’t like Ukraine and he doesn’t like Ukrainian people. And so he is attacking,

Yevhenii (08:08):

He’s scared that if we go in the right way and can be free, uh, and because of us, his people also want to be free and want to go, uh, on the streets and uh, uh, have some revolution, you know,

Sevan Matossian (08:28):

So he gotcha. Gotcha. He you’re a bad influence in the region of your desire.

Yevhenii (08:36):

Yes. And the second, uh, reason is, uh, uh, NATO. Yes. He think about NA net. Yes. Uh, retirement. It was the reason that he, uh, like a shield for him. So he, he tell that NATO is close and I, I must do something because they, uh, want to, uh, I, I don’t know what, what they want for Putin, but he, uh, scared and think that he must do something.

Sevan Matossian (09:05):

So, so Ukraine is the buffer country between Russia and NATO. The

Caleb Beaver (09:11):

Interesting thing is that there are two other country trees that are already bordering, bordering, Russia that are part of NATO. I’m pretty sure it’s like Lavia and Belarus or something.

Sevan Matossian (09:21):

No, not Belarus or

Caleb Beaver (09:23):

Maybe it’s, it’s one of these Northern bordering comp or countries

Sevan Matossian (09:28):

Is Finland part of NATO.

Caleb Beaver (09:29):

No, they’re trying to be no, no,

Yevhenii (09:31):


Sevan Matossian (09:34):

And, and the finish in the Russians don’t get a long either. Huh? You have Jenny, the, the Finn people and the Russians don’t they, they’re not friends either. Correct?

Yevhenii (09:49):


Sevan Matossian (09:50):

But, but do you, are the Ukrainians friends with the Russian people? I don’t mean the governments, but the people,

Yevhenii (09:55):

Yeah. Mostly we have friends all the time. It was friends. Uh, there is uh, many situation where was, uh, some questions about that. But if we, if we start talking about the CrossFit community, uh, all the time, all the history of, uh, CrossFit in Ukraine, Russia was a friend for us. So, um, till that moment that we have now, when all the guys now quiet and don’t tell anything, when we have such a terrible, they just quiet and say that they were sad and okay.

Sevan Matossian (10:37):

Yeah. It’s just so, you know, it’s like that in the United States also they’re, uh, people get very scared and I’m guessing it’s the same situation there. People get scared and they don’t wanna speak up. They’re afraid to speak up. Um, when I was in, I was in Sochi and I filmed a movie there and it was with a Russian, um, Olympian named Alexi vio, but he was Ukrainian and he always spoke. So fondly of Ukraine, he, I mean, you know, his origins were from Ukraine and I always assumed that they were, they were nearly identical people,

Yevhenii (11:15):

Uh, not identical, but uh, very closely like, uh, all the, uh, Ukraine and Russia. Yes. We, uh, not the same, yes. About closely.

Sevan Matossian (11:31):

How long has there been a threat from Russia? How, how old are you? You have GU

Yevhenii (11:36):

Uh, I’m 27 years old.

Sevan Matossian (11:38):

Has your entire life there been a, uh, uh, a spirit of threat or a two of threat from Russia? Have you always felt that your whole life,

Yevhenii (11:47):

You know, we, uh, teach history in school and all the history of Ukraine is the history when Russia, uh, attacked us. Yes. And then some, some, uh, good times when we tried to, uh, build the country yes. And be, uh, without big brother, like it’s called, you know, cause all, all the time, all, all the time in history, Russia want to, uh, kill our nationality, put in, put God to us now with the, uh, some, uh, reasons he want to demo us. Yes. Uh, then nationalize us and, uh, want to, uh, to Ukraine yes. With the war and, uh, that station that we have all that history of Ukraine. So I live, uh, in nineties. Yes. Uh, and there was a friendly situation when nothing, what happened? We listened Russian music. Yes. Watch Russian TV. But, uh, all the time, uh, that was like propaganda.

Yevhenii (13:03):

Yes. For this, uh, events that we have now, because putting come to us and want to protect Russian people. So people who talk Russians, all the UK, uh, no Russian, but, uh, in Russia, when you talk to, uh, with Ukrainian languages, it’s, uh, very little percent of people understand what you talk. So we all, we all know Russians, we can understand Russian, but they, uh, mostly most situations they don’t know Ukrainians. So each, each in the situation when, uh, years and, uh, years and years, we held this, uh, big, big brothers that, uh, want to tell what we want, but we don’t want this. Yes. We want go to, uh, civilization and have some, some, not all these terrible things.

Sevan Matossian (13:59):

Um, there’s obviously the story of what’s happening, what we’re being told in the United States. And there’s a lot of different stories. We’re hearing is a big degree of separation away from people who actually are having their lives threatened. Right. There’s people in your country whose lives, like you said, even in your mom’s town whose lives are being threatened. There’s soldiers walking around the town who can just walk into your house, eat your food, kill you, kill your dog, just do whatever, rape your daughter. Um, What, what, what is, what is, is the end? Do you guys know what the end game is? What Putin’s desire is, is his desire to actually just bring, to just remove Ukraine as a country from the map. And it’s just now a part of gonna be a part of Russia is that his end game,

Yevhenii (14:52):

He want to have Ukraine as a part of Russia, but, uh, a bad part. Uh, it’s called like, um, uh, they in Russia want to call it, have it’s new Russia, new, uh, bad Russia, something like that. They, uh, rewrite history every time Putin tried to, uh, don’t tell how it was, uh, exactly. Yes. But, uh, tell something like he think about the history. So when, uh, the key was created, yes. Uh, I think you, you saw this meme. Yes. Uh, when ki was created, Russia was like the wood, like the, uh, dark forest with the, uh, lot of, uh, water, a lot of trees and nothing was there. But, but now Putin tell that no, uh, Russia was every time and ki is like, uh, something not very interesting.

Sevan Matossian (15:57):

I think the story they’re trying to tell us in the United States is that there is a, there was a portion of Ukraine that wanted to come back to Russia

Yevhenii (16:11):

And it’s not, and all, all people who want to come back to Russia, do it already do it.

Sevan Matossian (16:19):

Right. Like, like, go move there. If you wanna be there, go move there. You’re saying,

Yevhenii (16:23):

Yeah, there is a no, um, restrictive moments. Yes. You, if you want, you can go there.

Sevan Matossian (16:33):

Uh, one of the stats I saw is that 150,000 Ukrainians to escape Ukraine have escaped to Russia.

Yevhenii (16:43):

Yes. I, I, I know about these numbers, but, but, uh, you know, now in Russia, 80% of people is, uh, say that Putin is right. Cause the propaganda work very good. Right,

Sevan Matossian (17:00):

Right, right.

Yevhenii (17:01):

Of, of course, some of people in, in the Russia, in the Ukraine have the, uh, relatives, have the relatives of friends, uh, in Ukraine or in Russia. So, uh, every time if you, uh, talk about the war here, there is a thousand of people who, uh, lost their, uh, friends. Yes. And, and, uh, I know many situations when, uh, uncle or, or some sister or brother. Yes. They sit there and listen, uh, his, uh, his, uh, point and they seem, we kill, uh, Russian, uh, children. Yes. We Nazis and so on. Uh, cause it’s work and some people go in Russia. Okay. Why not? It’s the, it’s a free decision. I want to Russia. I go to Russia. I want to, why I can’t go to Europe and be the, uh, good person.

Sevan Matossian (18:03):

Right, right.

Yevhenii (18:04):

But, but they’re 1, 1, 1, man. Who’s no, no, it’s the war. We, we, we kill you. We grab your cities, we destroyed your cities and no, no good life for you guys.

Sevan Matossian (18:20):


Yevhenii (18:21):

You? Why is that?

Sevan Matossian (18:22):

Yeah. Do, do you have any thoughts on, we have a propaganda problem in this country also, do you, do you see an ending to this? Do you think, do you have any thoughts on how this is gonna play out?

Yevhenii (18:34):

Yeah. It was quite good if some, uh, some people in Russia, uh, have good, uh, brain yes. And go on the street. So I don’t know some of the, uh, putting I kill him or I dunno it it’s, uh, only that I, that I know because he’s the government. Yeah. And, uh, all the people is scared by him.

Sevan Matossian (19:06):


Yevhenii (19:06):

That’s. That’s why we, we can’t talk about the civilization. Uh, the, the good point. We can’t go on the, uh, I dunno, some documents or something like that. Cause he see, and just like, I want this, I want that. It’s not about the, uh, that point of question that, uh, can talk good. People know good and smart people is just, uh, some kind of key who can, can, uh, good. Can help some good decisions. Yes.

Sevan Matossian (19:52):

Yeah. I I’m I’m following. There’s no lo there’s no, there, you can’t talk to him. There’s no logic. He’s doing whatever he wants to do. Yep. Um, are there, can you pull up the map again, Caleb? Where did they come in from? When we look at this map, where did the ground forces come in from? Are, are they flying them in or are they all coming in by vehicles? Where, how, how are they getting into the Ukraine? How are they coming? Where are they crossing to get to, uh, Kiev?

Yevhenii (20:20):

Uh, you show some, some, uh, another map yes. With the, uh, tactical points, I think. Yes. And there, there, yeah, it’s like that they come from the north, uh, there is, uh, Belarus, the good country, but, uh, also have some, uh, bad president and they with the Putin. So you can see this from the north and from, uh, our, uh, an actual territories such as the net Reagan and Boan Craig, you know, there is, uh, terrorist and separatist who, uh, have the government and you know, this situation. Yes. I think.

Sevan Matossian (21:11):

And so they’re, it looks like they’re coming in from everywhere.

Yevhenii (21:15):

From everywhere. Yes. And from, of course, it’s

Sevan Matossian (21:21):

Man. What, what a scary are, are you scared personally?

Yevhenii (21:26):

Of course. You know, I, I talk with you now, but you must know that, uh, uh, every, you must be prepared that at some point I will run to the shelter. Cause the, uh, I alarm it’s, uh, couple times of the day the I alarm, uh, on our city, you know,

Sevan Matossian (21:51):

What is the, is, is the press still there is Linsky still there.

Yevhenii (21:55):

Of course. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (21:58):

And, and do people, do people like him?

Yevhenii (22:01):

Yeah. Now it’s the statistics that 90% of, uh, people is with him. And, uh, there is, uh, everyday fakes that he removed the country as he go away. But he filmed the video from his phone. I’m I’m in guys, everything fine. And we still, still battle with this.

Sevan Matossian (22:26):

Does anyone feel like they can get on news? Is, is everyone skeptical?

Yevhenii (22:33):

Uh, now there is many news about, uh, uh, about Russian army that, uh, not, not too many people left. So, uh, on these days, uh, there was killed more than 10,000 people of Russian, uh, Russian army. So there is, uh, a hope that, uh, we don’t, we don’t, uh, need to kill all the Russian people, you know, uh, to disturb this part.

Sevan Matossian (23:08):

Wait a second. You’re saying 10,000 Russian troops have

Yevhenii (23:12):

Thousand. Yes. It’s official statistic from our government.

Sevan Matossian (23:17):

And, and, and where is that happening? Is there footage of that is it are, these guys are fighting. These are like, this is like artillery fighting, like on the ground artillery. Yes.

Yevhenii (23:26):

Artillery. And of course, uh Strikeforce and, uh, from the, uh, I dunno from the, some, some battles in the city, but mostly I think alter because, uh, a lots destroyed too. So something like 300 of tanks was destroyed from this time.

Sevan Matossian (23:51):

This guy here is saying that, um, uh, 10,000 dead and 35,000 injured, how many soldiers are, how many Russian soldiers are coming into the country?

Yevhenii (24:02):

Uh, when, before this, this war, yes. There was information that 100,000 of people staying on the border of Ukraine this time.

Sevan Matossian (24:15):


Yevhenii (24:16):

Yeah. It’s a lot of people.

Sevan Matossian (24:18):

Caleb. What do you think about that number? I’ve never heard that number. Is that something that we’re hearing in our media that 10,000 Russian soldiers have died?

Caleb Beaver (24:24):

Yeah. I just looked at, um, it looks like they’re saying, I, I saw some like BBC or something that said like 11,000 maybe. Um, but I mean, these are kind of rough numbers. I saw some, I know like the Kiev independent was posting a lot of stuff saying like, they’re, they’re kind of giving like a running total. I mean, I don’t, it might be a little biased just because it’s coming from a Ukrainian news outlet. Um, I think it’s a pretty good estimate. Like are, you’re not seeing a whole lot of good stuff coming from the Russian side, I guess.

Yevhenii (24:53):

Yeah. You must know that Russian side tell that, uh, no more that 5, 5, 500 people died, so no more.

Caleb Beaver (25:03):


Sevan Matossian (25:04):

That I want, we haven’t seen any footage like that. Have, have you seen footage of that?

Yevhenii (25:09):

Yeah, we have something like that.

Caleb Beaver (25:11):

Yeah. There there’s a lot of, um, like he was saying a lot of armor getting destroyed and those, those tanks or personnel carriers can, I mean, this is just an estimate, probably carry like eight to 10 people, depending on where, like what it is. And, um, like I just saw, I, I think it was like a, they keep changing the number, but there’s like a 40 mile line of tanks and armor and personnel carriers, just trying to get into Kia or like staging

Yevhenii (25:36):

It’s it’s in, uh, north Ukraine. And, uh, there was my mom, as

Caleb Beaver (25:41):

You know, and who knows how many people are in there? Like there’s, if there’s a, as much armor as they’re saying, I mean, it’s a lot of people to, to man, all that stuff

Sevan Matossian (25:53):

Is, um, is, is Ukraine known for having a good military?

Yevhenii (25:57):

Yeah, it’s good. Uh, military after help of our partners. Yes. From Europe and other countries from America, of course. Uh, but you know, the war, uh, don’t start, uh, 10 days ago, it start, uh, when, uh, put, uh, uh, come to the crime areas and to the, uh, the next region, eight years of war now, but in active, active faith, it’s only 10 days. So all this time Ukraine working, uh, for, for this, for, for its army. Yes. And the big part of money in our JE was for, for, for army, of course. Cause you, you can think about something else. Uh, when in your country it’s, every time you have some part of country where, uh, fire and not stability. So there is

Sevan Matossian (26:59):

No, go ahead.

Yevhenii (27:01):

So the go was ready for this. So

Sevan Matossian (27:07):

What, what religion are the people in the Ukraine? What, what’s the, what’s the dominant religion there?

Yevhenii (27:11):

Mostly Christians.

Sevan Matossian (27:15):

Oh, can you see that Caleb with the percent? And what else is there? Are there Muslims there?

Yevhenii (27:20):

Uh, what

Sevan Matossian (27:20):

Are there Muslims there are there a lot of Muslims there in Ukraine? Uh,

Yevhenii (27:25):


Sevan Matossian (27:28):

Muslims. It’s

Yevhenii (27:29):

Like, like what? Like,

Sevan Matossian (27:32):

Say that again? Cal

Caleb Beaver (27:34):

Like middle Eastern religion.

Sevan Matossian (27:36):


Caleb Beaver (27:37):

Like Arabs

Sevan Matossian (27:37):

Or like Arabs, like, like Islam, Islam, like Iran. No, no,

Yevhenii (27:41):

No, not too much. No. We have something. We have more many students from, uh, uh, Arabia Irans. Yes. But, uh, mostly it’s Christians.

Sevan Matossian (27:53):

I ask because the Ukraine has a close relationship with, um, Aja and Turkey. And those are Muslim countries that have caused a lot of problem for Armenia, which is a Christian country. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what, how big of a role religion even has in the Ukraine? Does it even have a, a big role? Like in my country? I, I, I wouldn’t even know how to answer that. If religion has a big role in the United States, are you a church going population? Do you go to church?

Yevhenii (28:21):

Um, actually not.

Sevan Matossian (28:23):


Yevhenii (28:23):

Mean Neith I’m I’m not active.

Sevan Matossian (28:26):

Yeah. Are you an active Buddhist?

Yevhenii (28:31):

No. I’m active cross active.

Caleb Beaver (28:36):

It’s a religion in itself.

Sevan Matossian (28:38):

Um, have you, so, so it, it is, I mean, has all business ceased in, in Ukraine? Like what, like is there is every, is nothing normal there. Like you, you can’t just go to the store and buy food. Like you can’t get a paycheck. Like how, how, how, what, how is, how do things operate in a country where there’s a war?

Yevhenii (28:58):

Uh, it depends from region. So in the Destin now it’s, uh, normal situation basically. Yes. Cause, uh, you can go to store, you can buy some food mostly. Yes. It’s, uh, some problems with meats and eggs now, but uh, come on it’s wire in our country. But if you talk about the, uh, key, if you talk about the, if you talk about the Maal, there is, uh, big problems. Uh, there is not only problems, but, uh, the city’s bombed up. Yes. And, uh, you, you see the, how it called one second? Uh, a food disaster. Yes. Food disaster is a problem with electricity problem with the heat. And so, uh, people want to have the corridor for, uh, go away. Yeah.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.
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