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Third Member Of RFE/RL Film Crew Dies After Belarus Road Accident


Lyubou Zyamtsova

A third member of an RFE/RL film crew working on a documentary in Belarus died after suffering critical injuries in a car crash earlier this month.

Relatives of Lyubou Zyamtsova told Current Time that she died in a Minsk hospital on May 22.

A well-known Belarusian documentary filmmaker, Zyamtsova, 28, did not regain consciousness after being hospitalized with multiple internal injuries and bone fractures from the May 14 crash.

Two other members of the film crew she was working with -- director Uladzimer Mikhaylouski, 33, and sound engineer Maksim Haurylenka, 26 -- died in the collision, which occurred outside the southeastern city of Homel.

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said Zyamtsova's death "is a profound tragedy, for all of us at RFE/RL, for her family, and for Belarus."

"Her work shows a deeply human connection to the people of Belarus. She managed to convey this beautifully on film. We will mourn the loss of her voice, her spirit, and the hope that she brought to her audiences and everyone who knew her," he said.

The filmmakers were returning to Minsk from a video shoot in Homel, where they were gathering material for a program about volunteers assisting medical workers responding to the coronavirus epidemic.

Belarus's authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, has downplayed the pandemic, even staging a parade on May 9 that drew thousands of people to central Minsk to mark the anniversary of the Nazi defeat in World War II.

The crew was shooting the documentary for Current Time, a 24/7 Russian-language digital and TV network led by RFE/RL, in cooperation with VOA.