Ask any beginner gun enthusiast who their favorite YouTuber is, and the name “FPSRussia” will always be at the top of their minds. The native Georgian and podcaster popularized videos that centered on explosives and firearms.
His YouTube channel gained close to seven million (6.93 million) subscribers as of February 2023, and 961 million viewers watch his videos.
However, you might wonder why FPSRussia no longer uploads new content on his channel. Does it still exist? What happened to FPSRussia?
History of FPSRussia’s YouTube Channel
Born Kyle Myers on May 9th, 1986, in Lavonia, Georgia, US, FPSRussia portrayed a heavily-accented, professional Muscovite “Dimitri Potapov ” in his YouTube channel. It is a fictional character, but there is nothing fake about FPSRussia’s contents, aimed at educating viewers about the different firearm systems and explosive ordinances.
It’s worth noting that the FPSRussia channel isn’t Myers’ first YouTube channel. He also had “klm5986,” providing witty gameplay comments to the first-person shooter (FPS) game “Call of Duty.”
Years of commenting on CoD gameplay encouraged Myers to create the FPSRussia YouTube channel in April 2010. He believed that people (especially FPS gamers) should know how firearms worked in the real world. FPSRussia understood that comparing real weapons mechanics to how creators portray firearms in games, TV shows, and films is necessary to educate the public.
Myers’ choice of a fictional Russian character is as colorful as the YT channel’s beginnings. His uncle always used a heavy Russian accent in his pranks when Kyle was still five. Myers’ colleague at a car dealership was also Russian, prompting Myers to impersonate his accent and use it in his YouTube recordings.
FPSRussia’s YT Channel focused on various firearms, including the .50 BMG, a gold-plated AK-47, an Atchisson Assault (AA-12) shotgun, an armored troop carrier, and the 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft cannon.
Each YT video featured a detailed firearm description, including its history, notable characteristics, and primary and secondary purposes. Viewers appreciate the guns in action as Myers demonstrates the destructive firepower of these “tools” against ordinary objects (i.e., drink bottles, photos, fruits, and mannequins).
A little over a year after launching FPSRussia, the YT channel hit its one-millionth subscriber. Unsurprisingly, Myers created a second YouTube channel in September 2011 named “MoreFPSRussia.”
Being a pro gamer himself, Myers and his team also ventured into their own mobile game. The production outfit worked with app developer Zaah and released “FPS Russia: The Game” in March 2013. The app was available on the Apple App Store.
Turning Point: The Death of Keith Ratliff
FPSRussia’s meteoric rise on YouTube was short-lived, unfortunately. Some experts argue that FPSRussia’s downfall is the 2017 ATF raid, resulting in Myers’ conviction for possession of a Schedule I substance, sending him to prison for 56 days and serving two years probation.
However, loyal FPSRussia followers say Myers’ demise from the video-sharing platform originated from the unexplained homicide of Keith Ratliff. Two days after New Year’s Day 2013, an FPS staff found Ratliff shot dead in his Carnesville, Georgia gun store.
Ratliff was one of Myers’ closest friends, allowing the young YouTuber to legally secure firearms for his FPSRussia videos because only Ratliff had a Federal Firearms License.
Internet sleuths suspected foul play in Ratliff’s death. Consequent investigations revealed some missing equipment, and no surveillance video was available. There were no signs of forced entry. Sadly, the case remains unsolved.
The FPSRussia production team was in tatters. For the next six or seven weeks, FPSRussia would not create and post new content on their YouTube channel. The lack of fresh content led some people to speculate that Myers, not Ratliff, died.
By February 19, 2013, FPSRussia resumed its video creation and uploads. Sadly, something was amiss, although followers didn’t know why or what.
Entanglements with the Law
Kyle Myers was a prankster but was dedicated to the perfection of his craft – YouTubing. He never had brushes with the law as a juvenile, not until the 29th of March 2013.
On this day, more than 40 members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or ATF raided FPRussia’s residence in Franklin County, Georgia. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accompanied the raiding team.
The search also included the nearby farm of FPSRussia’s father, which is the location for many of the YouTube channel’s video filming sessions.
According to the ATF Spokesperson, federal agents raided the property because Myers was using explosives in his YouTube videos and getting financial remuneration for it. The agency further added that Myers did not have the necessary federal license to manufacture explosives with the intent to sell, use, or distribute.
Sadly, the only person with such a license was no longer with FPSRussia, creating a loophole in the digital creators’ defense and giving enough reason for the ATF and FBI to swoop down on the Myers’ properties.
The good news was the raid did not yield anything. The agents didn’t arrest anyone nor seize any firearms.
Although it was good news, the raid dampened the FPSRussia’s crew’s spirit yet again, who was still reeling from the loss of Ratfliff less than three months prior to the raid. The team resumed video posting on YouTube on January 10, 2014.
In 2014, NewMediaRockstars listed FPSRussia as one of its Top 100 YouTube Channels, placing 78th in a highly competitive field. Sadly, FPSRussia’s loss of Ratliff and the 2013 FBI/ATF raid somehow rattled the cage. FPSRussia became inactive on YouTube by April 2016.
Unfortunately, the 2013 raid would not be the first and last.
The final straw came in August 2017. FBI and ATF agents raided Myers’ residence after working on a tip about FPSRussia possessing 25 grams of a Schedule I substance (butane hash oil).
The US Department of Justice charged Kyle Myers with felony possession of a prohibited or controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The charge provided the necessary impetus for the government to confiscate Myers’ 50 firearms, citing the ineligibility of drug offenders to own weapons under the 1968 Gun Control Act (Section 922, Paragraph G, Line 3).
Myers pleaded guilty to felony possession with the intent to distribute butane hash oil and marijuana. The court dismissed all other charges.
The court sentenced Myers to 56 days at the Talladega Federal Correctional Institution and was ordered to pay $7,500 in fines. Myers also received a 24-month probation sentence.
What is Kyle Myers Doing Now?
FPSRussia’s brushes with the ATF and the continuing anguish over Keith Ratliff’s death have clearly taken their toll on the YouTuber. However, these issues weren’t enough to put a good man down and keep him pinned.
Myers might be off the YouTube platform, but he still has a gaming podcast he streams on Twitch. Named “Painkiller Already,” Myers shares the podcast with two other seasoned gamer YouTubers WingsofRedemption and WoodysGamertag.
Although the podcast is about games, the trio never fails to attract listeners with their interesting stories, witty commentaries about current events, and almost anything and everything under the blue sky. Guests grace the podcast weekly, including EpicMealTime’s Harvey, DeStorm, and MMA’s Joe Lauzon.
WoodysGamertag also posts Painkiller Already podcasts on his YouTube channel, allowing Kyle Myers fans to enjoy their idol’s wit and natural charisma.
Kyle Myers never hesitates to share his story on his Painkiller Already podcast, hoping to teach audiences something.
We may never see Myers’ no-nonsense descriptions and explanations of how firearms work again. However, his voice on Painkiller Already is as reassuring as FPSRussia’s presence on YouTube from 2010 to 2016.
What the Future Holds for FPSRussia
Nobody knows if FPSRussia will resume creating YouTube videos for gun and explosives enthusiasts. The brushes with the law, including a prison sentence, seem enough for Kyle Myers to call it quits.
Surprisingly, FPSRussia’s YouTube channel still generates new subscribers, netting Myers about $213,000 as of May 2021. Myers might have gone on to other ventures, but the FPSRussia YouTube channel remains strong and will never be forgotten.
Some diehard FPSRussia fan may take over the channel and revive it, learning from Myers’ story and ordeal at the hands of law enforcement agencies.
Surprisingly, FPSRussia still generates new subscribers even though it has been inactive for at least half a dozen years. The latest count (as of February 8, 2023) is 6.93 million subscribers and 961 million views.
Although no fresh content is available on the YouTube channel, people still search for FPSRussia’s videos. It only proves high-quality content and content that resonates through the general public are as enduring as immovable mountains.
FPSRussia might have humble beginnings as an honest attempt to educate people about firearms, including how they work, their purposes, and practical applications. Their meteoric rise would have reached greater heights if not for the untimely loss of one of the team’s pillars.
While the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not offered any form of closure to Ratcliff’s death, FPSRussia’s demise from the YouTube-sphere is a more pressing concern for loyal followers.
On the bright side, FPSRussia might be gone, but the brains behind the genius – Kyle Myers – is alive and well. Only time will tell if the emotional wounds of 2013 and 2017 will heal and prompt Myers to revive FPSRussia.