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Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
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760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Entertainment
Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
Publication: Historical History.
Posted by
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Pavel Kashin's Last Photo

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Where:
St. Petersburg, Russia
When:
2013
Summary:
Freerunner Pavel Kashin fell to his death after an attempted backflip on top of a 16-storey building

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Pavel Kashin's Last Photo



  Where:
St. Petersburg, Russia

  When:
2013

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Almost everyone has heard of parkour in recent years, especially with the rise of YouTube and other forms of social media that have given it more exposure. If you’re still not sure of what parkour is all about, it’s a form of training that was developed by Raymond Belle in the 1980s in France that included many obstacles. This could involve anything from leaping over a fence to climbing a wall and anything in between.

Parkour became more of a stuntman’s game in the late 1990s and into the new millennium as people were trying to one-up each other with more dangerous stunts that included jumping from building to building from great heights. With more people doing parkour (or freerunning as it’s known in some circles), the competition became more fierce.

This is especially true in Russia, where many young people were taking to doing death defying stunts on top of tall buildings. Some would simply be up there to take photos in dangerous spots, while others wanted to perform their parkour feats with certain death lying below. One of those parkour daredevils was Pavel Kashin.

Kashin had been living in St. Petersburg, and his parkour stunts gained him fame not only in the city, but around the world. With many people watching his YouTube videos, Kashin kept trying to top himself with his stunts. Unfortunately, one stunt would prove to be his last.

Kashin decided to stand on a ledge that was just three feet wide on a rooftop that was 16 floors above the ground. His friends, Vladimir Lapik and Sasha Bitkov, were filming the stunt. After doing the backflip, Kashin struggled with the landing, losing his footing and falling from the roof and to his death on the ground below.

Lapik and Bitkov were completely stunned. Lapik said that it was a stunt that he’d seen Kashin perform many times without any error, but this costly one proved fatal. “We don’t know what happened,” he said. “Maybe he was distracted for some reason.” Despite watching their friend fall to his death, both men have continued to participate in parkour themselves, performing dangerous stunts. “We are famous online because we have a lot of committed people here who practice hard to be the best,” Lapik added.

Sadly, Kashin is hardly the first or the last to have his life taken away by parkour stunts. In many of the videos that Kashin had posted before his fatal stunt, he was performing much safer stunts in places such as a beach, but the trend of trying to go higher and higher turned him into a total daredevil looking for notoriety among his peers and online viewers.

There are other examples of young Russians that have lost their lives doing these stunts, and you don’t even have to leave Kashin’s home city to find more tragedy. Just a year before Kashin passed away in 2013, there was a 24 year old woman who watched four men she was with leap from a 60 foot high building onto a 45 foot high building, across a gap that was more than 20 feet wide.

She took on the challenge, but lost her footing on the leap and didn’t make the gap, plummeting 60 feet to her death. The men that were with her ran away from the scene as Russian officials were left to warn the public about the dangers of performing parkour on these tall buildings. Many cities in Russia have banned anyone from being on rooftops, but that hasn’t stopped many parkour experts from trying to land that big jump from one building to another.

The online reaction to these parkour stunts has been mixed. Some see it as a challenge to themselves, saying that they could have landed the stunt and trying it for themselves. Most have expressed a bit of a vindictive opinion, saying that they knew that people would start dying as a result of extreme parkour. Upon the video of Kashin’s death being released, one commenter on Reddit said that “I thought I was finally going to see one of these dudes die.”

Little is known about Kashin himself, but his legacy in parkour certainly lives on with young people in Russia that look to accomplish many of the same feats that he had. For others, it’s a wakeup call that parkour can be quite dangerous, even if you aren’t leaping from great heights. The risk of injury is high, with little reward outside of a video or a picture that could be posted on the internet.

For people like Kashin, the only photo that people associate him with, really, is the one that was taken in his final moments. Authorities have used the photo as a teaching point about what can happen if you don’t use safety equipment for stunts and how receiving online attention isn’t worth risking your life. It’s a tough lesson to learn, though many sadly knew that it was a matter of time before parkour stunts became too extreme to manage.

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