Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

June 19: Vasil Bykau’s Day

Nasha Niva

Today, on June 19, one of Belarus’ most prominent post-Stalin and modern writers Vasil Bykau could have been 88.

Vasil Bykay — the world-known novelist and Nobel Prize nominee — was one of those who restored the independence of Belarus.

The writer was called "the conscience of the nation" and severely criticized the strengthening authoritarianism in Belarus. The regime’s official propaganda, in its turn, paid back the same.

Vasil Bykau was forced to spend his last years in Finland and Czech Republic and managed to return to his homeland not long before the departure.

He devoted most of his works to the WWII and — very symbolically — died on June 22, the day when Germany attacked the USSR.

Only one street — in a small town Zhodzina near Minsk — bears the name of great Belarusian classic hitherto in spite of the campaign attempts to name a street in Minsk, Hrodna and Salihorsk after the author.

The prize for Freedom of Thinking is given annually in Vasil Bykau’s native village Bychki on June 19.