MINSK -- The first prime minister of post-Soviet Belarus, Vyachaslau Kebich, has died of COVID-19 at the age of 84.
Citing Kebich's family, Belarusian media reported that he died in a Minsk hospital on December 9, almost two weeks after he was hospitalized with the coronavirus.
Kebich served as prime minister of Soviet Belarus in 1990-91 and led the government of independent Belarus from 1991 to 1994.
Kebich, along with parliament Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich, signed the Belavezha accords on the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 8, 1991.
In 1994, Kebich lost a presidential election to Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has ruled the country since.
Belarus has been in upheaval since the most recent presidential election in August, that Lukashenka claims to have won.
Opposition leaders and several Western countries have disputed the results and refuse to acknowledge him as the country's head of state.
Belarus has been wracked by mass protests since the vote. Lukashenka has arrested thousands amid a violent crackdown against the demonstrators, independent journalists and opposition members. Several people have died in the violence.