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Russian Rapper Walkie Dies By Suicide After Refusing To Fight Against Ukraine Despite Being Drafted

Russian Rapper Walkie Dies By Suicide After Refusing To Fight Against Ukraine Amid Being Drafted Into War

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A popular Russian rapper is dead after refusing to fight in his country’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

Walkie, a well-known Russian rapper whose real name was Ivan Vitalievich Petunin, died on Friday in the city of Krasnodar, according to media reports. The man, who was 27 years old at the time of his death, reportedly died by suicide. Media reports allege he jumped from a high-rise building in the Russian city, which is very near the Black Sea between the nations of Ukraine and Georgia.

Related: Russian Athletes Protested Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine — Why That’s So Important!

According to, Walkie published a video on Telegram at the time of his death. In it, he informed his fans he’d been drafted into the Russian military to fight in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict. Speaking in Russian, he said that he could not “take the sin of murder on my soul” amid the geopolitical escalation led by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Walkie was evidently one of 300,000 Russian citizens who had been recently drafted by Putin to fight in the war. The outlet reports he had already served in the Russian Army as a younger man and “hated his previous experience so much that he tried to avoid re-enlistment on medical grounds.” That avoidance attempt apparently did not work, though.

In his posthumously-released video, the late rapper explained:

“If you are watching this video, then I am no longer alive. I can’t take the sin of murder on my soul and I don’t want to. I am not ready to kill for any ideals. I choose to remain in history forever. As a man who did not support what was happening. I am not ready to take up arms and kill my own kind.”

Elsewhere in the video, Walkie worried that Putin’s “partial” mobilization draft could soon turn into a full draft, and many more Russians could be forced to enter the army. That has been a concern echoed by other observers of the conflict — and one that would drastically increase the already-growing worries surrounding this awful war.

As for Walkie, the news outlet reports that his partner later revealed a farewell letter he’d written to her. A passage in that letter seemed to confirm the rapper’s death, too:

“Vanya went to the high-rise building where we lived in the summer, everything was confirmed.”

Here is Walkie’s posthumous video explaining the reasons behind his death and his anti-war stance, with English subtitles to follow along (below):

So sad…

According to TMZ, the “prolific” rapper had produced ten albums since his 2015 debut, including this year’s Walk Out Boy 3 release. His most popular song boasts more than one million Spotify streams, and his account there had nearly 250,000 monthly listeners at the time of his death.

Related: William & Kate Say They ‘Stand’ With ‘All Of Ukraine’s People’ Amid Russian Invasion

In the situation surrounding Walkie’s death, many other Russians are trying to avoid military duty. The Daily Mail reports roughly 200,000 Russians across the country have fled into neighboring countries like Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Finland since Putin’s mobilization increase demand.

We send our condolences to Walkie’s family, friends, loved ones, and fans as they grapple with his untimely and tragic death.

Rest In Peace.

[Image via KIKA/WENN/Walkie/YouTube]

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Oct 03, 2022 09:40am PDT