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(l-r) 'Unknown Belarus' sound engineer Maksim Gavrilenko, director Vladimir Mikhailovski, and documentary filmmaker Lyubov Zemtsova.

Remembering Our 'Unknown Belarus' Colleagues

RFE/RL is devastated by the loss of Vladimir Mikhailovski and Maksim Gavrilenko, two colleagues with the documentary project “Unknown Belarus,” who died in a car accident on May 14 in Belarus. We mourn Lyubov Zemtsova, the project's director, who died on May 22 from injuries sustained in the crash.

“You were very talented, Maks. You were always my savior when it seemed that the movie is a failure. You gave it a heart and soul. You enlivened it and made it resound.”

Vlada Senkova, film director

“His [Maksim’s] patience and attitude to work inspired [us] and were awe-inspiring. He always stayed till the end when the rest had given up. I was hoping that we shoot our second film.”

Andrey Grinko, film director

“It’s difficult to find the words. We’ve lost talented and beautiful people."

Nikolai Lavreniuk, producer

May 19, 2020

Dear Jamie: I was very sorry to hear about the tragic accident on May 14 which carried away the lives of your colleagues Uladzimer Mikhaylouski and Maksim Haurylenka. I was also saddened to learn that Lyubou Zyamtsova was severely injured in the accident and that she remains in intensive care. I am as always impressed by the younger generation of Belarusians like Uladzimer, Maksim, and Lyubou. Their creativity, perseverance, and dedication was evident in their work. My thoughts are with you and the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty team. Once again, my sincere condolences to you on the loss of Ulazimer and Maksim, and my sincere hopes that Lyubou will recover quickly.


Jenifer H. Moore

Charge d'Affaires U.S. Embassy Minsk

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