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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 13 in Belarus. We mourn Lyubov Zemtsova, the project's director, who died on May 22 from injuries sustained in the crash.


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

“A wonderful Belarusian documentary film director has died. Several years ago, her first film, “About Love: Ira,” inspired me to shoot my own movie. For the past five years, I have always been proud and delighted at random meetings with Lyuba at workshops, film screenings and festivals.”

Nikita Lavretskiy

“Suddenly, a wonderful person, a marvelous and gentle creature, is gone. I lost a battle-field friend and kindred spirit; and such people can be counted on the fingers of one hand. What is good here, Lyuba. If not for Lyuba, I would not be me. It was after her that I decided to go up to our future mentor Yacek Blavut, and ask about the Wajda school. If it weren’t for Lyuba’s advice, I would have never received a scholarship. And how much my whining on the way from film school she listened to, patiently cheering me up. Maksik, everything will be fine ... Everything is just beginning, Lyuba, how so?”

Maksim Shved, Belarusian film director

“Today, I am saying goodbye to the person I loved more than anyone in this life. I hope that God exists, and that Vova will wait for me there, and I will live here in a way to be worthy of being there with him afterwards.”

Valeriy Alekseev, film director

"Volodya’s life took different turns, but, in recent years, he made me very happy as became creatively active, got into the documentary filmmaking, I saw that a person had found his path.”

Andrei Shobin, film director

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