Youtube might be a hub of kiddie stuff and TikTok invaders these days, but back in its heyday, it was a place to find the most adventurous kids bringing classics like COD and Doom to life. Of course, not everyone took it out into the field quite as literally as FPSRussia.
FPSRussia was a Youtube channel run by an American youngster, Kyle Lamar Myers. Also known as FPSKyle, Myers created a character called Dmitri Potapov for the purpose of his Youtube channel and took to his family farm to display a wide array of ammunition and their workings.
FPSRussia was noted for having a thick accent which he crafted with the help of a Russian coworker. His channel has nearly seven million subscribers and over 900 million views. Myers has been inactive since 2016.
Myers got involved in a rather distasteful case which led him to cease activity on his channel, he was arrested and incarcerated for some time. Find out below: Why did FPS Russia go to prison?
Who is FPS Russia?
Kyle Lamar Myers was born on May 9, 1986 (age 36) in Lavonia, Georgia, U.S. Before his venture with FPSRussia, he ran a YouTube channel by the name of "klm5986".
Focused on Call of Duty gameplay commentary, this channel often featured videos with other YouTubers, such as Socrates. He later came up with the idea of showing how guns worked in real life and how they were compared to their portrayal in video games, films, and television shows.
He hit upon the idea of a Russian accent while working at a car dealership where one of his co-workers was Russian.
He took an interest in impersonating his accent. His uncle also used to be a prankster and used the accent while talking to Kyle when he was five years old. Myers used the accent to create the character Dimitri Potapov and began filming himself shooting guns on his family farm in Georgia.
FPSRussia Video Content
Each video on the channel typically follows Myers (as Dimitri) explaining the characteristics of the weapons he will be using in that video (occasionally telling the history behind the weapon and sometimes explanations of its purpose) before he demonstrates their abilities on random targets such as bottles, fruits, zombie mannequins, and even photos of Justin Bieber in some of his earlier videos.
Myers used largely varying pieces of equipment along with weapons that were featured in his videos. Some of these weapons included a gold-plated AK-47, an armored troop carrier, a .50 BMG rifle, Bofors 40 mm automatic anti-aircraft cannon, and most famously, an AA-12.
The channel reached the one-million-subscriber milestone in June 2011. Following the channel's early success, Myers started a second channel, called MoreFPSRussia, in September 2011.
Popularity and Collaborations
The success of FPSRussia propelled Myers to appear on many other channels and media. Myers went on to collaborate with Epic Meal Time, a Canadian Youtube cooking show, in July 2011, and this collaboration has earned over 8.8 million video views on YouTube as of 14th October 2020.
Myers' character, Dimitri hosted the live fire section of Machinima.com (an American multi-platform online entertainment network) Prime's web series, The Controller: Medal of Honor Warfighter.
In 2010, Myers co-founded the podcast Painkiller Already with fellow YouTubers WoodysGamertag and WingsOfRedemption. The show is now hosted by Myers, WoodysGamertag, and MurkaDurkah, replacing WingsOfRedemption.
On 29th October 2012, Myers had a cameo appearance as his character, Dimitri, in the Call of Duty: Black Ops II live-action trailer directed by Guy Ritchie, an English film director, producer, and screenwriter.
After a video announcing his new project came out in December 2012 and a successful Kickstarter campaign, FPSRussia managed to release "FPS Russia: The Game" on the App Store for iOS devices in March 2013 with developer Zaah.
In 2013, Myers launched another gaming channel named "FPS" which became inactive in 2014.
On 3rd January 2013, a Kentucky man by the name of Keith Ratliff, the co-owner of FPS Industries (a gunsmithery and testing company) and a member of the FPSRussia production team, was discovered shot dead in his home in Carnesville, Georgia. Ratliff held a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and was responsible for obtaining and providing the firearms used in the FPSRussia’s videos.
Following the news of Ratliff's death, the production of FPSRussia's videos went on hiatus until 19th February 2013. In March 2013, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) reported that it was still investigating the death. However, as there have been no official updates since the initial reports that followed after Ratliff's death, the case became the subject of numerous conspiracy theories.
The End of FPSRussia
After a nine-month hiatus, on 10th January 2014, FPSRussia returned to YouTube. In 2014, FPSRussia was named in NewMediaRockstars’ list of Top 100 Youtube Channels, ranking at #78. The channel has been completely inactive since April 2016.
On 29th March 2013, Myers' Franklin County residential house was searched by upwards of 40 members of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) accompanied by officers from the FBI.
The investigators also searched the nearby farm that belonged to Myers's father and had been a frequent filming location for FPSRussia. ATF spokesman Richard Coes gave the justification for the search stating that Myers had been using explosives and getting paid for it via YouTube.
In August 2017, Myers' residence was raided once again by ATF and FBI agents after Myers was alleged to have received 25 grams of butane hash oil (cannabis) through the mail.
Why did FPS Russia go to Prison?
The Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecuted on the grounds that illegal drug possession while owning a firearm is a federal offense. Myers was arrested on the charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Moreover, 50 of his weapons were confiscated under Section 922(g)(3) of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which criminalizes illegal drug users from possessing firearms. He later pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Butane Hash Oil, with all other charges dismissed and was convicted.
On 19th June 2019, Myers was sentenced to two years probation and 56 days in prison. He was incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution, Talladega, in 2019 and also paid a fine of $7,500.
Since his release from prison, Myers has spoken about the case and his conviction on his YouTube podcast Painkiller Already.