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Graffiti Artist 'Russian Banksy' Reported Dead

Russian street artist P183 paints a mural dedicated to forthcoming elections on a wall in central Moscow in February 2012.
A Russian street artist, whose mysterious style and politically charged messages led to comparisons to the British artist Banksy, has reportedly died.

According to Russia's English-language state broadcaster RT, the artist whose first name was Pavel but who was known by the moniker P183 had been a fighter for freedom of thought:

The mysterious figure, allegedly in his late 20s, preferred to cover his tracks and hide his face with a black balaclava to remain anonymous. A can of spray paint never failed him, helping the up-and-coming artist share his ideas with those who kept their eyes wide open.

"Like poets who put their thoughts and reflections onto paper, I want mine to be heard," Pavel explained in an interview with RT last year. "With my work, I want to communicate certain ideas to people." ...

"Put simply, I want to teach people in this country to tell lies from the truth and to tell bad from good," the artist told RT. "This is what our people still cannot do."

"Expressing your opinion is a form of civil defense," the artist believed.

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