Summary

to memory of the Patriot is devoted...

- Whom do you love?
- I love Belarus.
- So mutually... The password of Belarusian insurgents

Kastus Kalinouski

Kastus Kalinouski (Vikentsy Kanstantsin Kalinouski) is an outstanding figure of belarusian history. A person, who for the first time after centuries of foreign opression loudly had declared the rights of Belarusians and had elevated a question of restoration of our statehood. He was a man who had devoted his conscious life to struggle for freedom and better tomorrow for our native land.

Kalinawa - Kalinouski's family emblem

Kalinouski's family emblem ("Kalinawa")

K. Kalinouski was born on the 21st of January 1838 in the family of impoverished nobleman. It happened in a small estate, which was called Mastauliany. Kastus's childhood wasn't easy. At ages of 5 years he lost his mother. Naturally, the stepmother couldn't give to her stepsons true love and care.

But despite all difficulties Kastus got good education. He had finished The District School in Svislach and The St.-Petersburg Emperor's University. At the beginning of 1861 Kalinouski received his diploma with the degree of Master of Law.

During his studying at the university Kastus was taking part in activity of student's underground circles. He was reading unique works written by such excellent figures of Russian revolutionary democracy as N. Dobrolubov and N. Chernyshevski. Maybe, he personally met them.

So, Kalinouski's revolutionary outlook was formed in his studentship. Exactly in this period Kastus had made up his mind to fight against national and social injustice which prospered in the Russian Empire.

Soon after returning home in Belarus in spring of 1861 the young patriot headed the secret revolutionary organization built up by him in Harodnia (Hrodna) province.

"The Serf's Truth"

"The Serf's Truth", the 1st issue

Later Kalinouski became one of the main figures in the Belarusian and Lithuanian rebellious centre. To bring into the future insurgent's army the wide masses of peasantry Kalinouski had organized the edition of illegal newspaper called "Muzhytskaya Prauda" ("The Serf's Truth"). This was the first newspaper printed in Belarusian. Each issue of "The Serf's Truth" was devoted to some problem. The newspaper has been unmasking the real politics of imperial authorities. It was a true call for freedom.

The portrait of K. Kalinouski

The portrait of K. Kalinouski made by A. Banoldzi (Bonoldy)

In the emancipatory movement Kalinouski was belonging to revolutionary democracy wing which was called "the reds". Kastus together with his comrades had been struggling for independence of Belarus and Lithuania. In social sphere they required the lands for peasants and mounting fair relations in the society.

At the time when the uprising on the 10th of January 1863 began Kalinouski was a leader of Belarusian and Lithuanian insurgent's Committee. In fact, he led the rebellious government in Vilnia (Vilnius). But another part of conspirators known as "the whites" consisted of rich landowners. They didn't want to attract in the rebellion the people masses and decided to take a power in the rebel's organization in their own hands. As a result of inside revolution made by "the whites" Kalinouski with his associates was dismissed from the power. He was sent in Harodnia as a district rebel's commissar.

Only after four months of "the whites"'s ruling that was so passive and sluggish "the reds" were returned into the governing of the uprising. But it was late already. Despite of all efforts made by Kalinouski the revolt was suppressed by autumn. While Kastus had been remaining loose he did everything he could to accumulate forces and to reanimate the struggle next spring. But a traitor had betrayed Kalinouski and he was arrested.

In a prison Kastus had written touching last appeals to his bride and all Belarusian people known as "Pismy z-pad shybenitsy" ("The Letters from under the gibbet").

On the 10th of March 1864 Kastus Kalinouski was executed on Lukishki Square in Vilnia.