Maksim Tank

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Maksim Tank
Jaŭhien Skurko
2012. Stamp of Belarus 36-2012-09-05-m.jpg
Native name
Яўген Скурко
BornJaŭhien Skurko
Eugeniusz Skurko
(1912-09-17)17 September 1912
Piĺkaŭščyna, Russian Empire
Died7 August 1995(1995-08-07) (aged 82)
Minsk, Belarus
Resting placeNoviki, Miadziel Raion
Pen nameMaksim Tank, Aŭhien Bura, A. Granit
OccupationWriter, journalist, editor, statesman
Soviet Union
PeriodLate 1920s – 1990s
SubjectBelarusian national liberation, social issues
Years activemore than 60
SpouseLuboŭ Asajevič[1]

Maksim Tank
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian SSR
In office
Member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
In office
Personal details
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union
Other political
Communist Party of West Belarus
AwardsLenin Prize
Stalin Prize
Hero of Socialist Labor

Maksim Tank (Belarusian: Максiм Танк, Russian: Максим Танк, real name Jaŭhien Skurko; 17 September 1912 – 7 August 1995) was a Belarusian Soviet journalist, poet and translator.

Childhood and activism in West Belarus[edit]

Jaŭhien Skurko was born into a wealthy[1] peasant family in the village Piĺkaŭščyna (Belarusian: Пількаўшчына), now in Minsk Voblast, Belarus. In 1914, his family went to Moscow as refugees from the approaching First World War[2] and lived there till 1922.

Because of the hunger in Russia, the family returned to its home village, which by then became part of the Second Polish Republic.

In 1928, Skurko joined an underground communist youth organization in his school in Radaškovičy. Despite good performance in the school, in 1929 he was expelled together with several other pupils for participating in a protest against closure of Belarusian schools by the Polish authorities. He was also expelled from his following school in Wilno for participation in student protests.

In early 1930s, Jaŭhien Skurko participated in the Belarusian underground communist activism, writing for Belarusian and Polish underground publications. In 1932, he was arrested and placed in the Lukiškės Prison in Wilno.[3]

In late 1932, he illegally crossed the border with the Soviet Union and joined Belarusian underground group in Minsk. He was eventually arrested by the Soviet authorities, interrogated by the NKVD[2] and deported to Poland. After his return, he was an activist of the illegal youth branch of the Communist Party of West Belarus in Wilno and Navahrudak. He was several times arrested and spent a total of two years in prison.

In 1936, Skurko was admitted into the underground Communist Party of West Belarus.

Career in the USSR[edit]

After the annexation of West Belarus by the Soviet Union, Skurko worked as a culture journalist and as an education administrator in Vilejka.[3]

After the beginning of the war, Skurko was evacuated to Saratov and then returned to the Bryansk Front to work as a reporter for several Soviet publications.[3]

In 1945 – 1948, Skurko worked as editor at the satirical magazine Vozhyk. From 1948 to 1966, he was editor in chief of the major Belarusian literature magazine Polymia.[2]

Since the late 1940s, Skurko held various senior positions in the Belarusian Soviet legislative system. In 1947–1971 he was member of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus; of which he was chairman in 1963–1971.[2] In 1969 – 1989 he was member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.[3]

After Belarus regained independence, Maksim Tank admitted being supporter of the Belarusian White, Red and White flag and opposed the controversial referendum to change the national symbols of Belarus organized by president Alexander Lukashenko.[1]

Maksim Tank died in Minsk in August 1995.

Selected works[edit]

Collections of verses:

  • On Stages (Belarusian: На этапах, 1936)
  • The Cranberry Colour (Belarusian: Журавінавы цвет, 1937)
  • Under the Mast (Belarusian: Пад мачтай, 1938)
  • Sharpen the Arms (Belarusian: Вастрыце зброю), Through the Fiery Horizon (Belarusian: Праз вогненны небасхіл, both 1945)
  • In Order to Know (Belarusian: Каб ведалі, 1948)
  • On the Stone, Iron and Gold (Belarusian: На камні, жалезе і золаце, 1951)
  • On the Road (Belarusian: У дарозе, 1954)
  • The Lightning Track (Belarusian: След бліскавіцы, 1957)
  • My Daily Bread (Belarusian: Мой хлеб надзённы, 1962)
  • The Gulp of Water (Belarusian: Глыток вады, 1964)
  • Listen, the Spring is Coming (Belarusian: Паслухайце, вясна ідзе, 1990)
  • My Arch (Belarusian: Мой каўчэг, 1994)



Monument to Maksim Tank in Miadziel

The Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University in Minsk was renamed after Maksim Tank in 1995.

There is a monument to Maxim Tank in Miadziel and a street named after him in Minsk.



  1. ^ a b c Skurko, Andrej (17 September 2012). "Дубы Максіма Танка: пра Яўгена Скурко піша Андрэй Скурко" [The oaks of Maksim Tank: Andrej Skurko writes about Jaŭhien Skurko]. (in Belarusian). Naša Niva. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Біяграфія Максіма Танка" [Biography of Maksim Tank]. (in Belarusian). Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Жыццёвы i творчы шлях Максiма Танка" [The life and writing of Maksim Tank]. Official website of the Miadziel Regional Executive Committee (in Belarusian). Retrieved 13 October 2016.

External links[edit]