Konstanty Kalinowski

Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski, also known as Kastuś Kalinoŭski (Belarusian: Касту́сь Каліно́ўскі[1]), Konstanty Kalinowski (Polish) and Konstantinas Kalinauskas (Lithuanian) (2 February [O.S. 21 January] 1838 – 22 March [O.S. 10 March] 1864), was a 19th-century Belarusian writer, journalist, lawyer and revolutionary. He was one of the leaders of the Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian national revival and the leader of the January Uprising in lands of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Кастусь Каліноўскі
Konstanty Kalinowski, 1862


Kostuś Kalinowski
Konstanty Kalinowski, 1863
List Kalinoŭskaja
a sheet with a fragment of the poem "Letters from under the gallows" in Belarusian Lacinka

Konstanty Kalinowski was born to an impoverished szlachta family. His father, Szymon, was a manager of the Mastaŭliany farm and manor (present-day Belarus).

The Kalinowski family hailed from the region of Mazovia (Polish: Mazowsze) and bore the Kalinowa coat of arms. After graduating from a local school in Świsłocz (now Svislach in Belarus) in 1855 he went to Moscow, where he started studying at private law school. Soon he moved to St. Petersburg, where he continued his studies at the University of St. Petersburg and got involved in several Polish students' conspiracies and secret cultural societies. After graduating in 1860 he returned to the area of Hrodna, where he continued to work as a revolutionary.

He also started publishing Mużyckaja prauda (Commoner's truth), one of the first periodicals in Belarusian (written in Łacinka) and two other Polish language clandestine newspapers. In his literary work, Kalinowski underlined the need to liberate all peoples of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Russia's occupation and to conserve and promote the Greek-Catholic faith and Belarusian language. He also promoted the idea of activisation of peasants for the cause of national liberation, the idea that was until then dominated by the gentry. He also referred to the good traditions of democracy, tolerance and freedom of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as opposed to national oppression of cultures dominated by Imperial Russia.

After the outbreak of the January Uprising he was involved in the secret Provincial Lithuanian Committee in Vilnius (Prowincjonalny Litewski Komitet w Wilnie). Soon he was promoted to the commissar of the Polish government for the Grodno Voivodeship. His writings made him popular both among the peasants and the gentry, which enabled the partisan units under his command to grow rapidly. Because of his successes he was promoted to the rank of Plenipotentiary Commissar of the Government for Lithuania (Komisarz Pełnomocny Rządu na Litwę), which made him the commander-in-chief of all partisan units fighting in the areas of today's' Eastern Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.

A tablet marking the Kalinowski's execution site, Lukiškės Square, Vilnius

Last months and execution

However, after initial successes against the Russian armies, the Russians moved a 120,000 men strong army to the area and the revolutionaries started to lose most of the skirmishes. Finally Kalinowski was betrayed by one of his soldiers and handed over to the Russians.

He was imprisoned in Vilnius, where he wrote one of his most notable works - the Letter from Beneath the Gallows (Pismo z-pad szybienicy), a passionate credo for his compatriots. He was then tried by a court martial for leading the revolt against Russia and sentenced to death. He was publicly executed on Lukiškės Square in Vilnius on 22 March 1864, at age 26.

See also

Related reading

  • Jan Zaprudnik & Thomas E. Bird: Peasant's Truth, the Tocsin of the 1863 Uprising in: Zapisy Belarusian Institute of Arts and Sciences. Vol. 14. New York, 1976.
  • Kastuś Kalinoŭski, commentaries by Jan Zaprudnik and Thomas E. Bird: The 1863 Uprising in Byelorussia: "Peasants' Truth" and "Letters from Beneath the Gallows". Byelorussian Institute of Arts and Sciences, The Krecheuski Foundation, New York, 1980.


  1. ^ The name Kastus began to be used in the 20th century.

External links

Wikiquote-logo.svg Belarusian Wikiquote has quotations related to: Kastuś Kalinoŭski

Battle of Miropol

The Battle of Miropol took place on May 16–17, 1863, near the town of Miropol, Volhynia, Russian Empire, during the January Uprising. A unit of 850 Polish rebels under General Edmund Rozycki clashed with a cavalry regiment (300 Cossacks) of the Imperial Russian Army, commanded by Captain Kaznakow. The battle ended in Russian victory.

In early spring 1863, the January Uprising, which began on the territory of Russian-controlled Congress Poland, spread over to western provinces of the Russian Empire, the so-called Western Krai, or Ziemie Zabrane (Stolen Lands). In Samogitia, the rebellion was led by Zygmunt Sierakowski and Rev. Antoni Mackiewicz, in Belarus by Konstanty Kalinowski and Romuald Traugutt, while in Ukrainian territories, including Volhynia and Podolia, it was commanded by General Edmund Rozycki.

With local volunteers, Rozycki created Regiment of Volhynian Cavalry. Most of this units consisted of members of the lower classes, as local magnates did not support the insurrection. To draw Ukrainian peasantry, members of Provincial Office of the Polish National Government issued an appeal, the so-called Golden Paper, in which they promised land plots. Polish activists in Volhynia and Podolia demanded the entry of strong rebel forces from Austrian Galicia, but Adam Stanislaw Sapieha did not support this demand. Under the circumstances, General Rozycki decided to start the insurrection in Volhynia and the area of Kiev in May 1863. Still, local peasants failed to support the rebels.

The insurrection in the Ukraine began on May 8, when a rebel unit of 850 cavalry left Zytomierz. On the next day, Rozycki captured the town of Liubar without fighting. On May 12, the Poles seized Polonne, and stayed there for five days, waiting for reinforcements. Finally, the rebels headed eastwards, meeting the Russians at Miropol (Myropil). The battle lasted for two days, ending in retreat of Rozycki and his men. Nevertheless, rebel army was not destroyed. Instead, it was divided into two columns: the Russians eliminated Polish infantry, and then chased Rozycki, who tried to flee to Podolia.

On May 19 Rozycki captured 39 Russians, and then entered Podolia, where he was joined by a 60-men unit under Szaszkiewicz. The rebels tried to capture the town of Chmielnik (Khmilnyk), but their forces were inadequate and they gave up the attempt. Due to lack of popular support for the insurrection, Rozycki headed northwards, to Liubar, where he decided to march to the Austrian border. On May 25 he was defeated by Russians near Laszki. Three days later, remnants of Polish forces entered Austrian Galicia, ending the rebellion in Ukraine.

The Battle of Miropol is commemorated on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw, with the inscription “MIROPOL 17 V 1863".

Belarusian Latin alphabet

The Belarusian Latin alphabet or Łacinka ([laˈt͡sinka], from Belarusian: Лацінка (BGN/PCGN: latsinka) for the Latin script in general) is the common name of the several historical alphabets to render the Belarusian (Cyrillic) text in the Latin script. It is similar to the Sorbian alphabet and incorporates features of the Polish and Czech alphabets.

Belarusian history in the Russian Empire

The Belarusian history within the Russian Empire is associated with the History of Belarus from the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the October Revolution when the present-day Belarus' lands were made part of the Russian Empire.

Belarusian national revival

The Belarusian national revival (Belarusian: Беларускае нацыянальнае адраджэнне) is a social, cultural and political movement that advocates the revival of Belarusian culture, language, customs, and the creation of the Belarusian statehood at the national foundation. Revival refers to the Belarusian nationalism and the modern Belarusian national consciousness represented by several waves starting from the 19th century.

Belarusian resistance movement

Belarusian resistance movement are the resistance movements on the territory of contemporary Belarus. Wars in the area - Great Northern War and the War of the Polish Succession - damaged its economy further. In addition, Russian armies raided the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth under the pretext of the returning of fugitive peasants. By mid-18th century their presence in the lands of modern Belarus became almost permanent.

The last attempt to save the Commonwealth's independence was a Polish–Belarusian–Lithuanian national uprising of 1794 led by Tadeusz Kościuszko, however it was eventually quenched.

Eventually by 1795 Poland was partitioned by its neighbors. Thus a new period in Belarusian history started, with all its lands annexed by the Russian Empire, in a continuing endeavor of Russian tsars of "gathering the Rus lands" started after the liberation from the Tatar yoke by Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia.

Broniszów Castle

Broniszów Castle (Polish: Zamek w Broniszowie) is a castle in Broniszów, Gmina Kożuchów, within Nowa Sól County, Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland.Originally built in the twelfth century as a knight's castle, in the sixteenth/seventeenth century it was transformed into a court building. The Renaissance three-storey building built of brick and stone with neo-Gothic tower walls closed in the nineteenth century. Since 1986 the castle has held the Broniszów National Photographic Workshops.

History of Gdańsk

Gdańsk (; Polish: [ˈɡdaɲsk]; Kashubian: Gduńsk; German: Danzig) is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Founded by the Polish ruler Mieszko I in the 10th century, the city was for a long time part of Piast state either directly or as a fief. In 1308 the city became part of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights until the 15th century. Thereafter it became part of Poland again, although with increasing autonomy. A vital naval city for Polish grain trade it attracted people from all over the European continent. The city was taken over by Prussia during the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 and subsequently lost its importance as a trading port. Briefly becoming a free city during Napoleonic wars, it was again Prussian after Napoleon's defeat, and later became part of the newly created German Empire.

After World War I the Free City of Danzig was created, a city-state under the supervision of the League of Nations. The German attack on the Polish military depot at Westerplatte marks the start of World War II and the city was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1939.The local Polish, Jewish and Kashubian minorities were persecuted and murdered in the Holocaust. After World War II the city became part of Poland and the city's German inhabitants, that had constituted the majority of the city's mixed population before the war, either fled or was expelled to Germany. During post-1945 era, the city was rebuilt from war damage, and vast shipyards were constructed. The center of Solidarity strikes in the 1980s, after abolishment of communism in 1989 its population faced poverty and large unemployment with most of the ship building industry closed down.

January Uprising

The January Uprising (Polish: powstanie styczniowe, Lithuanian: 1863 m. sukilimas, Belarusian: Паўстанне 1863-1864 гадоў, Ukrainian: Польське повстання) was an insurrection instigated principally in the Russian Partition of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against its occupation by the Russian Empire. It began on January 22, 1863 spread to the other Partitions of Poland and continued until the last insurgents were captured in 1864.

It was the longest lasting insurgency in post-partition Poland. The conflict engaged all levels of society, and arguably had profound repercussions on contemporary international relations and ultimately provoked a social and ideological paradigm shift in national events that went on to have a decisive influence on the subsequent development of Polish society.It was the confluence of a number of factors that rendered the uprising inevitable in early 1863. The Polish nobility and urban bourgeois circles hankered after the semi-autonomous status they had enjoyed in Congress Poland before the previous insurgency, a generation earlier in 1830, while youth encouraged by the success of the Italian independence movement urgently desired the same outcome. Russia had been weakened by its Crimean adventure and had introduced a more liberal attitude in its internal politics which encouraged Poland's underground National Government to plan an organised strike against their Russian occupiers no earlier than the Spring of 1863. They had not reckoned with Aleksander Wielopolski, the pro-Russian arch-conservative head of the civil administration in the Russian partition, who got wind of the plans. Wielopolski was aware of his fellow countrymen's fervent desire for independence was coming to a head, something he wanted to avoid at all costs. In an attempt to derail the Polish national movement, he brought forward to January the conscription of young Polish activists into the Imperial Russian Army (for 20-year service). That decision is what triggered the January Uprising of 1863, the very outcome Wielopolski had wanted to avoid.The rebellion by young Polish conscripts was soon joined by high-ranking Polish-Lithuanian officers and members of the political class. The insurrectionists, as yet ill-organised were severely outnumbered and lacking sufficient foreign support, and were forced into hazardous guerrilla tactics.

Reprisals were swift and ruthless. Public executions and deportations to Siberia eventually persuaded many Poles to abandon armed struggle. In addition, Tsar Alexander II hit the landed gentry hard, and as a result the whole economy, with a sudden decision in 1864 to finally abolish serfdom in Poland. The ensuing break-up of estates and destitution of many peasants convinced educated Poles to turn instead to the idea of "organic work", economic and cultural self-improvement.

Kalinovski Square

Kalinovski Square (original title: Плошча, or Plošča) is a 2007 documentary film by Belarusian filmmaker Yury Khashchavatski. The film takes a critical look at the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko in March 2006, featuring especially the protests that occurred after the election was found to be fraudulent. The protests had their centre at October Square in downdown Minsk, which was informally renamed on the occasion for Konstanty Kalinowski.

Before its commercial release on DVD on 9 June 2009, the film was distributed under the title The Square.

Since the Belarusian authorities already persecuted director Yury Khashchavatski since his first movie An ordinary president (1996), all production was done underground.


Kalinowski is a Polish surname. It comes from place names such as Kalinowa, Kalinowo, and Kalinów, which are derived from the word kalina ("Viburnum"). It is most frequent in north-eastern Poland.

Kalinowski family

Kalinowski was a notable Polish noble family, like many other Szlachta houses of the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Duchy of Ruthenia, later prominent in Polish, and to a lesser extent, in Belarusian history. They are descended from Andrzej Kalinowski (1465 – 1531). They used the Kalinowa Coat of Arms.

Kastus Kalinovskiy (film)

Kastus Kalinovskiy (Russian: Кастусь Калиновский) is a 1928 Soviet silent biopic film directed by Vladimir Gardin. It portrays the nineteenth century revolutionary Konstanty Kalinowski.


The first name Konstantin is a derivation from the Latin name Constantinus (Constantine) in some European languages, such as Russian and German. As a Christian given name, it refers to the memory of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. A number of notable persons in the Byzantine Empire, and (via mediation by the Christian Orthodox Church) in Russian history and earlier East Slavic history are often referred to by this name.

Konstantin means firm, constant.

People bearing the name Konstantin include:

Given nameKonstantin, a fictional character in Codename Villanelle (2018 novel) and Killing Eve (2018— television show)

Konstantin of Rostov (1186–1218), Grand Prince of Vladimir

Konstantin Chernenko (1911–1985), Soviet politician, General Secretary of the Communist Party

Konstantin Dejanović (>1355–1395), Serbian ruler

Konstantin Feoktistov (1926–2009), Soviet cosmonaut

Konstantin Grigorishin (born 1965), Ukrainian billionaire businessman

Konstanty Kalinowski (1838–1864), 19th-century revolutionary who was one of the leaders of the January Uprising in Congress Poland

Konstantin Khanin, Russian mathematician

Konstantin Konik (1873–1936), Estonian politician and surgeon

Konstantin Korovin (1861–1939), Russian painter

Konstantin Kravchuk (born 1985), Russian tennis player

Konstantin Leontiev (1831–1891), Russian philosopher

Konstantin Märska (1896–1951), Estonian cinematographer

Konstantin Nahk (born 1975), Estonian football player

Konstantin von Neurath (1873–1956), German diplomat

Konstantin Päts (1874–1956), Estonian politician, first President of Estonia

Konstantin Petrzhak (1907-1998), Soviet physicist

Konstantin Ramul (1879–1975), Estonian psychologist

Konstantin Rokossovsky (1896-1968), Marshal of the Soviet Union

Konstantin Romanov (disambiguation)

Konstantin Romanov (born 1985), Russian-Kazakh ice hockey player

Konstantin Pavlovich (1779–1831), grand duke of Russia, son of Paul I

Konstantin Nikolayevich (1827–1892), grand duke of Russia, son of Nicholas I

Konstantin Konstantinovich (1858–1915), grand duke of Russia, grandson of Nicholas I, famous Russian poet

Konstantin Konstantinovich (1891–1918), prince of Russia

Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863–1938), Russian actor and theater director

Konstantín Alexeyevich Vasilyev (1942–1976), Russian illustrator

Konstantin Viktorovich Vasilyev (born 1993), Russian football player

Konstantin Vassiljev (born 1984), Estonian football playerSurnameKnyaz Konstantin (disambiguation)

Leopoldine Konstantin (1886–1965), Austrian actress

Phil Konstantin (born 1952), American journalist and author

Stefan Konstantin (1282–1322), King of the Serbian Kingdom

Long Live Belarus!

Long Live Belarus! or Belarus Alive! (Belarusian: Жыве Беларусь!) is the patriotic call-motto aimed at awakening the national civil sense, the consolidation of the Belarusian people for freedom and independence of their country, language, all the national culture. Takes the origins of the rebel movement 1863-1864. Motto was very popular during Belarusian People's Republic activity.

Lukiškės Square

Lukiškės Square (other spellings include Łukiszki, Lukiski, Lukishki, Lithuanian: Lukiškių aikštė) is the largest square (about 4 ha) in Vilnius, Lithuania, located in the center of the city. A major street in Vilnius, Gediminas Avenue, passes by the southern border of the square. It is surrounded by many public buildings, including Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign affairs, Appeals Court, Academy of Music and Theater, Church of St. James and St. Phillip, Dominican Monastery with former St. Jacob Hospital. Currently the city of Vilnius holds a contest to redesign the square.

March 22

March 22 is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 284 days remaining until the end of the year.

Mikhail Muravyov-Vilensky

Count Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov (Russian: Михаи́л Никола́евич Муравьёв; 12 October 1796 in Moscow – 12 September 1866 in Saint Petersburg) was a Russian imperial statesman of the 19th century, most known for his putting down Polish-Lithuanian uprisings, and subsequent cultural and social depolonization of Northwestern Krai (today's Belarus and Lithuania). He should not be confused with his grandson, Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov, who served as Russian Foreign Minister between 1897 and 1900.


Mostowlany [mɔstɔˈvlanɨ] (Belarusian: Мастаўляны, Lithuanian: Mastaulėnai) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Gródek, within Białystok County, Podlaskie Voivodeship, in north-eastern Poland, close to the border with Belarus. It lies approximately 16 kilometres (10 mi) east of Gródek and 49 km (30 mi) east of the regional capital, Białystok.

Short U (Cyrillic)

Short U (Ў ў; italics: Ў ў) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

The only Slavic language using this letter is the Belarusian Cyrillic script.

Among the non-Slavic languages using Cyrillic alphabets, ў is used in the Dungan language and in the Siberian Yupik language. It was also used in Uzbek before the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1992.

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