After a nine-month hiatus, popular YouTube personality and firearms enthusiast Kyle Myers recently announced his return. On Friday, Myers—in character as Dmitri Potapoff—released the first new video on his channel FPSRussia since April 15, 2013. Last year was a difficult one for the filmmaker and his team, which started off with the death of longtime business associate Keith Ratliff. In April, Myers was visited by more than 40 law enforcement officers at his home in Georgia, which ATF spokespeople said was in connection with an explosives violation.
“I’m glad to finally be back, thanks to all of you who waited around for what seems like forever! We’ve had half a dozen production dates fall through for one reason another, so I promise you I’ve been as frustrated as anyone about the lack of videos,” Myers wrote on his YouTube channel.
Myers became hugely successful on YouTube because of his series of videos showcasing new or hard-to-obtain firearms. Myers routinely spoke in a Russian accent and created the character of Potapoff when filming, which only heightened his popularity. Despite the lengthy break since his last video, Myers’ channel still holds a spot on the top 100 most subscribed YouTube channels, coming in at number 55, according to vidxtatsx.com.
Myers gradually withdrew from releasing new videos or keeping his social media accounts active after the death of Ratliff, who was found shot in January. Ratliff was instrumental in running the show due to his role in procuring weapons and explosives for Myers. Several months later, the ATF and local police visited Myers at his house and his father’s farm looking for explosives. Officials said this “raid” was because of Myers using explosives for commercial purposes without the proper permits. Since then, Myers has been mostly inactive, save for sporadic posts to his Facebook page. Fans were surprised when Myers uploaded his latest video, along with the promise that many more were to come. Myers publicly acknowledged his hiatus as being caused by a number of logistical issues, including finding the proper equipment and finding time to produce videos.
On January 3, a statement on the FPSRussia Facebook page paid tribute to Ratliff.
“A year ago today we lost a member of our team and today we still have no answers as to why,” the statement read. “Next week we relaunch in his honor… RIP Keith Ratliff.”
You can watch the latest FPSRussia episode below: