Ukranian influencer who thought covid wasn’t real died from it

Last week we talked about a guy who regretted being a covid denier when his whole family ended up sick after he insisted on a get together. He was hospitalized with covid and his father-in-law died from it. Here’s another covid denier who unfortunately learned the hard way. The original posts for this story are in Russian so I’m relying on E!’s coverage of this story. This got traction because the man who died, Dmitriy Stuzhuk, was a popular Ukranian fitness influencer with a million followers who didn’t believe covid was real. When he was hospitalized he finally recanted and admitted he was wrong, then he passed away at just 33. He caught it right after visiting Turkey. In some posts from last month he was hanging out with friends and just walking around talking to people without a mask. Here’s E!’s coverage:

Fitness influencer Dmitriy Stuzhuk has passed away at the age of 33 after suffering from complications related to COVID-19. The social media star’s ex-wife, Sofia Stuzhuk, with whom he shared three kids, confirmed his death in a detailed Instagram post on Saturday, Oct. 17…

“We were no longer together, but it hurts me no less,” she continued. “I am so sorry… I’m sorry. Thank you for everything, my important person, my main teacher, my guide, the father of my children.”

In closing, she wrote, “You are our guardian angel and your love will always protect our angels. How painful it is to realize… Blessed memory of you, Dima Stuzhuk.”

Earlier this week, Dmitriy updated his one million followers on his health in an Instagram post.

“CORONAVIRUS “COVID”, DAY 8,” he began his caption in Russian, which has also been translated to English. “As you all know from stories, I am sick with coronavirus. Today, after returning home, for the first time there was an enthusiasm for at least writing something. I want to share how I got sick and convincingly warn everyone: I also thought that there was no covid… Until I got sick.”

According to The Sun, the fitness influencer contracted COVID-19 during a trip to Turkey and was treated in his native Ukraine.

[He] also touched on this in his Instagram post, writing, “I felt bad on the second day in Turkey. I woke up in the middle of the night because my neck was swollen and it was hard to breathe. At the same time, my stomach ached a little.”

“The next day, a cough began to appear, but there was no temperature. There were no particular symptoms of the disease either, so I thought that these could be consequences after playing sports, changing the climate and nutrition, and plus sleeping under air conditioning,” he continued. “After returning from Turkey, I immediately went to take various tests, do an ultrasound scan and, just in case, decided to take a COVID test. It turned out to be positive.”

Dmitriy explained he took a CT scan, and was later “prescribed treatment and began to insist on hospitalization.”

“This is another story, because now there are renovations going on, the hospital is completely filled with people, some of them live in the corridor,” he explained. “There is no food, no paper, no cutlery either! Nobody warned me about this.”

[Dmitry] also described his treatment in detail, sharing, “They gave me an oxygen apparatus for breathing, since I have a low oxygen level (although I think it is considered critical after 90, for me 94-96 it is quite permissible for treatment at home, the doctor in the waiting room told me the same thing).”

He explained that he did end up being treated at home, after feeling it was “more convenient and comfortable.”

However, The Sun reports Dmitriy was rushed back to the hospital following his at-home treatments. Sofia said, per the outlet, that her ex-husband was in “grave ” condition and “unconscious.”

She revealed that the fitness star had problems with his cardiovascular system. “His heart is not coping,” she expressed at the time. “His state is extremely grave. No one can do anything with this.”

Shortly after, he passed away.

[From E!]

I just spent way too long looking through his Instagram and his estranged wife Sofia’s instagram. They just had their third baby around Christmas and the last time she posted a photo with him was in April, so they split up sometime earlier in lockdown. Dmitry made the announcement on August 4 that they had split. There’s video of Dmitry in late September, out maskless and talking to people. In the third video in this slideshow, he and his buddies are slapping women on the bare butts out on the street. It’s confusing and I don’t want to think about it, but he’s clearly getting too close to people. He went to a big conference, in person, just earlier this month. I ran a bunch of his posts through Google translate and couldn’t find any where he denied covid, but I may have missed it. He’s certainly acting like nothing has changed.

He’s so fit and young and the virus took him quickly. Of course a lot of people only get mild to moderately ill, but the more it spreads, thanks to people acting like it’s not real, the more stories we’re going to hear like this. Maybe this will be a warning to some people, but I doubt it. The type of people who deny it’s real are the type of people who won’t believe it until they get sick or they lose someone close to them. Even then, they often continue to act like selfish a-holes. I’m sorry he passed and I don’t want to end on that note, but their actions affect so many other people.

This is from 6 days ago:

His ex’s post announcing his death:

I ran this through Google translate and I think he’s giving away this car. In other posts he’s giving away phones and gadgets.

View this post on Instagram

Вот такой вот подарочек🎁🎁🎁

A post shared by Dima Stuzhuk (@stuzhuk_dmitriy) on

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55 Responses to “Ukranian influencer who thought covid wasn’t real died from it”

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  1. Char says:

    Darwinism on it’s finest.

  2. Tiffany says:

    *stares and blinks*

    I don’t.


  3. Lucy2 says:

    I truly don’t understand how anyone can think it’s not real.
    I’m sorry for his children, and I hope he didn’t infect many other people along the way.

    • HoofRat says:

      “Nobody warned me about this:”. I know he was talking about hospital conditions, but really? It feels like it applies to the whole situation. Such awful consequences for him and his family because of willful ignorance.

      • Ox says:

        I call it bullshit! Everyone who lives in those countries (Ukraine, Russia etc) knows very damn well what condition hospitals are at. And what condition is the whole country at.
        Massive eye roll!

  4. Case says:

    I feel like I’ve already heard so many stories of people not “believing COVID is real” and then getting very ill or dying from it. I don’t understand how there’s still a question of whether it is real. Of course it is?

    I’m sorry he passed away and that his children no longer have their dad. That’s really sad. But people need to take this seriously. It’s not just about you, but everyone you interact with, too.

    • Darla says:

      He was in such excellent shape and I believe some people are getting fooled by the articles tying obesity to Covid complications and deaths. They don’t seem to understand what disproportionately means. They think if they’re in good shape it means it’ll be nothing but a cold for them. I do wonder if experts are not being clear enough. Are they making it clear enough that if you are a healthy weight that doesn’t mean you are immune to serious covid complications and even death?

      • Case says:

        @Darla Exactly. It’s unfortunate that so many articles try to frame people’s severe illness/death being caused because they were overweight or had an underlying condition. There are plenty of people 1) who have underlying conditions they don’t know about or think of as being an issue, 2) are categorically “overweight” but don’t fit our idea of what overweight looks like, or 3) who are very healthy and become very ill from this. This virus seemingly chooses to attack some people worse at random.

      • Esmom says:

        Exactly. It’s those complications, like the cardiac ones he apparently had, that make this so much scarier than the flu. My old gym owner is the exact same way as this guy — he doesn’t deny Covid is real but he is clearly feeling totally invincible because he’s fit.

        I do think that maybe the fact that this disease attacks other organs and systems in the way a typical respiratory illness does has been weirdly downplayed. I didn’t really know about this until my friend’s sister had bad complications.

      • Sid says:

        @Esmom, there were articles last month on a study that showed some college athletes had signs of heart damage after recovering from the disease. It was a small study, but the implications are not good.

      • Emm says:

        My husbands cousin is a runner, has run the Chicago marathon for many years. He got what he thought was the flu in March. He tried to get a COVID test but at that time with it being so new his doctor never even called him back. Fast forward seven months later to today and he says he can’t even run a few miles without feeling like there is an ice pick stabbing him in his chest. He’s pretty sure he had it and who knows what his lungs look like now and thank goodness he survived and none of his family got it but yeah, it doesn’t matter how in shape or athletic you are.

  5. FYI says:

    I’m wondering if he took steroids and whether those weakened his system? Pure conjecture though. The supermodel selfie while on oxygen is sad. Sorry for his family.

    • Darla says:

      Aren’t steroids the only thing keeping the orange clown upright? I know nothing about the long term effects of steroids though.

      • Wasabi says:

        There are different types of steroids. There is also a difference whether one takes steroids short term or for a long period of time. Long term it can affect your heart, cause diabetes or osteoporosis , etc.

      • Lauren says:

        Long time use of steroids can really mess up your body. Kidneys, liver and heart are at serious risk with long term steroid abuse.

    • B says:

      That crossed my mind too after seeing his pictures. The DM said his ex posted he had underlying cardiovascular problems as well. Especially sad for his kiddos to lose their father.

  6. nicegirl says:

    Lord Alanis Morisette, this is ironic. Why can’t people use common sense?!? I need to remember it myself but geez not about a deadly disease. Horrible

  7. Nikki* says:

    All the people brought up to mistrust anything the government says – which is the vast majority of these Covid deniers – have wondered if it’s true. It’s so tragic to needlessly lose people like this. How many movies and books with conspiracy theories have you seen? Evidently people don’t trust authority, and fake news and ignorance are having a field day.

  8. Phyllis says:

    My mom tested positive last Friday and is symptomatic. She’s overweight, hbp, prior pneumonia, sleep apnea and I’m terrified for her. When I called my brother and uncle, they repeated the same dumb “it’s just the flu 99.9999999999999999% of all people who get it arefinedontworryaboutit”. God I’m sick of these people not respecting that this has the potential to be devastating in so many ways that the flu isn’t! And even if it is “just the flu”, getting the actual flu (I don’t mean a stomach bug that lasts 24-48 hrs) really sucks to get…I wouldn’t wish that on anyone either! And I’m SO F-ing sick of trump and his minions infecting people with their idiocy! I’ve cut ties with so many bc of it and I just don’t see a path back to normal after a Biden election…it will entrench their stupidity even more 😢 sorry I’m ranty…I’m almost at a breaking point. I don’t post often, but I read the comments every single day and the whole celebitchy community gives me hope that there are good people in the world…thank you all for being here ♥️

    • Case says:

      Best wishes to your mom! My mom has similar health issues and I’m worried sick about what will happen if she gets COVID. I hope your mom has a speedy recovery.

      Part of the problem with people saying “it’s just the flu” is that, as you hinted at, many people are uneducated about what the true flu actually is. The flu is a severe illness and can be fatal in many instances. A lot of people get a bad cold or sinus infection and then say they were out sick with the flu, lol. Which is just silly in most years, but now that misconception is turning out to be deadly.

      • The Hench says:

        Absolutely – flu is bloody serious too. As per the CDC:

        Flu season in the US, which runs from October through May, claims tens of thousands of lives every year. Because the flu is not a reportable disease in most states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not have an exact count of the number of people sickened each year. Instead, it develops estimates based on rates of laboratory-confirmed, flu-associated hospitalizations.

        Preliminary CDC estimates for the 2019-2020 influenza season indicate that, as of April 4, 2020, between 24,000 and 62,000 lost their lives to the flu. Add to that the misery of hundreds of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations and millions of medical visits for flu symptoms.

        @Phyllis – wishing you and your family all the best.

      • Phyllis says:

        I’m almost 42, have a very high tolerance for pain/discomfort, and I know without a doubt, that although I’ve come down with lots of bugs that made me sick over the course of my life, that I’ve had actual Influenza exactly once and it sucked. I don’t understand how this “it’s just the flu” justification is supposed to make it any better.

      • lucy2 says:

        Absolutely – so many call typical winter colds and viruses the flu, and it’s totally wrong. I had it once too, and was so sick I felt like I was hallucinating. I get my flu shot now, but so many around me don’t.

        One of my neighbors is still spouting that it’s just the flu. She’s elderly. Her husband is in such bad shape a simple cold might take him out. My dad is starting to get dismissive about it, and he’s got several risk factors. It’s infuriating.

        Phyllis, best wishes to your mom, and to you, I hope you stay well and can ignore the unsupportive members of your family.

    • Darla says:

      Phyllis I’m so sorry, I really feel for you and the position you are in. I hope your mom comes through this well and soon. Please let us know.

    • shanaynay says:

      I’m so sorry for you and your family. Sending positive vibes your way

    • Esmom says:

      Oh no, so sorry. Sending healing vibes. And I agree, I would be just as worried about the flu! Hugs to you.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      so sorry to hear this. Please know that all of us Celebitches are pulling for her.

    • Wasabi says:

      Best wishes for your mother. Hopefully she recovers fully.

    • superashes says:

      Best wishes for your mother Phyllis, your concerns are completely valid and I’m sorry that you have to deal with family members that actively contribute to your anxiety.

    • Nikki* says:

      Crossing my fingers for your mom, Phyllis; keep us posted. Best wishes, and try to hang in there despite your family. Friends are the family you get to choose! <3

    • OuiMelissa says:

      Sorry to hear about your mother. Mine caught covid-19, and by the grace of God, made a full recovery. She’s also a recovering stroke patient, so I don’t even have to tell you how worried I was.

      I’ll be praying for your mother.

  9. Xtina says:

    I barely left my house since March and a little over a month ago my Dad passed away (we don’t know if it was COVID because they wouldn’t swab him for it after death), so I had to fly and put on his funeral. I was so careful, I either wore an N95 or surgical mask (I even wore a face shield to the airport) and used hand sanitizer frequently and I still got COVID. Thankfully, nobody else I was in contact with tested positive. No idea how I got it, I was more careful than pretty much everyone I was interacting with and I got it and they didn’t.

    I’m 30 and have asthma so I was REALLY scared and was put on 6 days of steroids followed by 6 days of antibiotics for my cough. I had my nebulizer and a pulse ox to measure my O2 and thankfully it never got lower than 96. I also didn’t have a fever at all. I’m thinking I may have got a small viral load due to wearing a mask, which made my case more mild- but it still was terrible. I had a cough for 2 weeks and the headaches and fatigue were killer… and I got lucky.

    Also, I got it COVID like 6 or so days before Trump and as of last Thursday I’m still testing positive, so I call bullshit that he’s been testing negative for weeks. My doctor said you’re not contagious after 10 days, but you can still test positive for a long time after you’re not contagious.

    • shanaynay says:

      I’m sorry you have the virus. I wish you a quick recovery. You’re in my thoughts and prayers

    • Case says:

      So sorry for your loss. I’m glad it sounds like you’re on the mend with COVID, although it really frightens me that you were so careful and still caught it.

      • Xtina says:

        Thanks. It’s been almost a month (25+ days) since I tested positive, so I’m considered recovered at this point even though I’m still testing positive. Some days I’ll have a lingering cough, but otherwise I feel back to normal.

        It’s interesting the IG guys last post he said he was Day 8. They say that you have to be really careful around days 10-12 because that’s when it can get dramatically worse for some people. That didn’t happen to me, though. My worst days were probably days 3-5 (I don’t know exactly when I was exposed) when I had a blaring headache and the cough was at its worst. I also lost my sense of smell for a couple days, but it came back.

    • Phyllis says:

      Very sorry this is all happening to you right now…it totally sucks. Take good care of yourself and I hope you feel your dad’s love extra big right now ♥️

    • lucy2 says:

      Glad you are doing better.
      A friend’s dad had a heart attack and got COVID in the hospital, and tested positive for a LONG time after. He was feeling better, but all those positive tests kept him from quite a few follow up doctor visits. Thankfully he’s doing well now.

    • Nikki* says:

      I’m sorry you’ve been through so much, and sorry for your dad’s passing. Hope you have a full recovery.

  10. minx says:

    I just don’t understand this type of hubris. I’m the exact opposite, I always think I AM going to get the disease.

    • Nikki* says:

      Ha, ha Minx! You are so cute. Is that a bad thing to say these days? I’m sorry. You are funny and identifiable.

      • minx says:

        Why thanks Nikki! I do always think I don’t want to tempt fate…with my luck, I’ll get it.

    • Nikki* says:

      And I love your use of the word “hubris”. I have never used it, but will remedy that posthaste.

  11. shanaynay says:

    It’s terrible that it if only he realized/believed that COVID was real, he would still be alive. It really irritates me how ignorant some people can be. So easily swayed.

  12. Mich says:

    A study came out yesterday looking at excess deaths in the US possibly related to Covid. The age group that saw the largest rise is excess deaths (26.5%) was young adults aged 25 to 44.

  13. heygingersnaps says:

    what are the rules in California? A contact of mine, who has recently attended a herbalife leadership retreat and in the photos that she uploaded there was no social distancing or wearing masks, it’s just back to normal. One of those who attended is heavily pregnant, very odd.

  14. Izzy says:

    Once more for the Covidiots in the back: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  15. Soapboxpudding says:

    @phyllis sending you and you mom best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. Celebitchy is one of the only comment sections I faithfully read as well and I agree that it keeps hope alive for the decency of people. Hugs from an ex-pat in Ottawa.

  16. Veronica S. says:

    You just have to imagine the inherent narcissism assuming the entire world got together to lie about a virus and shut down the economy. All those billions of us. And these morons have the in that the rest of us sheep don’t somehow. 🙄

    In his case, I’m betting stroke took him out. They’ve had a disturbing number of cases in thirty somethings with emboli formation.

  17. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Oh well…
    I just can’t with the whole “it’s fake, blah blah blah” shit.
    You reap what you sow
    (and before ANYONE comes at me for my lack of humanity or sympathy, I have a compromised immune system and I do everything I can to stay safe, so…)
    My doc thinks I most likely had a very mild case before it became so well known, but as he said at the time it was being passed off as the flu. Let me tell you this. I have had the flu and this was nothing, NOTHING like it. It wiped me out for weeks.
    For all y’all here who have had it or have it or have loved ones who have passed from it, I am sending you blessings and healing thoughts.

  18. Sorella says:

    Well he was proven wrong in the most significant way. I am tired of influencers who are rattling on and are maskless and are having family birthday parties and not even mentioning anything about Covid. We have Jillian Harris in Canada who is like that – she has a HUGE following, but she has had like 3 parties and is around her employees all maskless and countless other people even her older parents, as if she lives in a bubble and it will not affect her. This should be a warning. I think they delete the people who criticize them as it astounds me the people who are like “great party” and oblivious to the danger.

  19. Valerie says:

    I hope his kids are safe!

  20. Lauren says:

    I’m going to be honest, but back in February when we started getting the first news of the virus I thought that it was like the flu. I wasn’t worried at all because last time I had got the flu was like in 2012 and also because the last outbreak of SARS never really made it out of far East Asia and stupidly I thought that I was perfectly safe in Rome. Even when the first two cases were confirmed in Rome in late February I wasn’t still worried because they were caught quickly and isolated without any spread. I started getting very worried not even a week later when we started getting reports of people who had had no contacts with China had caught the virus in North Italy. I started isolating before the official lockdown started in Italy and I’m still living in a bubble with very limited contact with others. It’s me, my parents and my cats at home. When I do go out I wave to people to say hello, wear a mask and carry my hand gel everywhere. It helps that masks are mandatory right now in the whole country when you are in outside of your home (open air or in closed spaces).

    • Case says:

      I think we all thought that way at first! I remember when it first reached the U.S. I was like “oh, I bet I can book my vacation for October and airfare will be cheap!” I had absolutely no thoughts that it would get this bad here or last so extremely long. Even in the thick of it in April and May I was taken aback hearing it would last to August and beyond, and I was pretty realistic about how serious it was at that point. That all sounds so naive now, but it was really confusing to think a virus could conquer us for such a long period of time.

      Now I’ve pretty much set my sights on “hopefully at the same time next year things won’t be quite so terrible.” Ugh.

  21. Lary says:

    God, I’m Ukrainian and we are the WORST when it comes to actually taking advise from professionals. My husband over-garlic-ed himself at the beginning of all this (although we’re not dumb and know COVID is real) thinking that will be like a shield to the virus (it was not pleasant). We know family members back in Ukraine who don’t think this is real at all. I guess it probably stems from the Soviets lying to them all the time, but Jesus if you believe that you’ll be baron if you lift something heavy or get hemroids if you sit on concrete – believe that COVID is an actual thing! Honestly, maybe his death will affect some people positively so they can at least take this seriously.

  22. James says:

    No way he was 33. He looks closer to 40 something or he took a lot a roids