Andrey Retrovsky was part of a new Russian generation of trending thrill seekers called “rooftoppers,” putting himself in death-defying situations atop buildings and photographing the frightening, precarious moments on camera to post on Instagram.
According to a description of rooftopping on one YouTube video (below), the sketchy, high pucker-factor pastime Andrey Retrovsky embraced has attracted many, mostly young men, to test their mettle against the dizzying heights of Russian buildings and other structures. In the process, the anxiety-inducing Russian daredevils also go to great lengths not to get caught by any security or security cameras, wishing the only evidence of their walking and hanging off the edges of the Russian buildings to be their own photographs posted online.
Unfortunately for Andrey Retrovsky, just 17, his last rooftopping stunt went horribly wrong, the teen’s attempt at a heart-stopping photo leading to a very long fall that resulted in his death. reports the Advertiser.
The building from which Andrey Retrovsky fell is located in the Russian city of Volgoda, Retrovsky and a friend having scaled the building in hopes of capturing a photo that would depict Andrey falling but meanwhile he’d be protected by a rope. Retrovsky and the friend staged the stunt, the teen jumping off the building, but the safety rope failed and Andrey proceeded to fall a sickening nine stories to the ground.
17 Magazine reports that Retrovsky actually landed in some bushes which are believed to have somewhat “cushioned” the Russian daredevil’s fall, but Retrovsky’s extensive internal injuries were too much to overcome and the adventurous young teen died two hours later at a hospital.
Garnering hundreds, and even thousands, of followers on social media websites such as Instagram, the Russian rooftopping enthusiasts crush the boundaries of what most would deem sane, often engaging in acts that are difficult to watch without suffering an anxiety and/or vertigo attack. At the same time, rooftoppers like Andrey Retrovsky obviously must enjoy a personal satisfaction and thrill from their stunts, though posting pictures of said stunts does reveal the pursuit of some notoriety as well.
In the truly terrifying video below, one of Andrey Retrovsky’s fellow Russian rooftoppers takes the notion of thrill seeking to a whole new level, even by rooftopping standards, going over the side of a 40-story building while his friend holds him by the arm and he swings back and forth.
According to the video’s description, the footage was captured in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, “the young man dangling over the edge of the skyscraper with his life quite literally hanging in his friend’s hands.”
The arguably crazy, brave — or both — rooftopper featured in the video uses his rooftopping name OlegCricket, his stunts having reportedly garnered him over 100,000 Instagram followers, many of them posting “messages of support.”
While the rooftopping footage is difficult for many to even watch, as evidenced by consistent comments relating such, for OlegCricket, his rooftopping doesn’t really inspire any fear in him at all, OlegCricket saying he has extreme trust in his rooftopping partner and his own skills.
“I was not thinking about fear or any other emotions – there was no time. Most people react – and will react – negatively, but they don’t understand the other side of my thinking. They are taught that it’s scary and something people are accustomed to, but it’s a different philosophy to know what I’m doing.”
In other mind-blowing videos featuring OlegCricket, particularly one in Moscow where he skips along the side of a building at unimaginable heights, it’s easy to see why such spectacular rooftopping footage attracts millions of views.
So in the end, the rooftopping photos and videos are indeed breathtaking. But the death by falling of Andrey Retrovsky is an all-too-real reminder of the risks rooftopping involves.
[Images via Instagram and Ivan Kuznetsov/Facebook. Videos via YouTube]