Marakou Leanid Uladzimiravich (in Russian-language publications known as Moryakov Leonid Vladimirovich, also under the following pseudonyms: Vladimir Moryakov, Anatole Sinchukousky and others) — a journalist, writer and historian- encyclopedist, a member of the oppositional Union of Writers of Belarus, full member of the International PEN. Studies repressions and atrocities against the Belarusian, Polish, Jewish people committed by the Soviet (Russian) authorities during various periods of history.
Marakou is the author of unique encyclopedic 10-volume directory (15 books, 9 of which have been already published) “Repressed literary men, scientists, educators, public and cultural figures of Belarus. 1794-1991” (published in Belarusian language under the title “Рэпрэсаваныя лiтаратары, навукоўцы, работнiкi асветы, грамадскiя i культурныя дзеячы Беларусi. 1794-1991“, Smolensk and Minsk, 2002-2008). This directory contains about 15,000 biographies of people executed or perished in the Stalin concentration camps (GULAG), major and less-known figures of the Belarusian culture of the time, the fate of whom would be otherwise impossible to find out in any other existing encyclopedia or directory.
Other milestone works published by Marakou: “Extermination” (“Вынішчэнне“, Minsk, 2000) – a research book dedicated to Belarusian literary men eradicated during the Stalin’s years, “Victims and Executioners” (“Ахвяры і Карнікі“, Minsk, 2007), – a documentary investigation about fate of the victims and their torturers during the period of repressions, as well as a reference book “Repressed Orthodox clergymen and priests of Belarus. 1917-1967” (“Рэпрэсаваныя праваслаўныя свяшчэнна- і царкоўнаслужыцелі Беларусі. 1917–1967“, Minsk, 2007).
Marakou is also renowned for his written works in prose that received a critical acclaim in Belarus and outside the country, as well as highly-prized annual literary awards in Belarus and Russia: “Recusants“, “Recusants – II” and “Recusants – III“(“Непамяркоўныя“, “Непамяркоўныя – II” and “Непамяркоўныя – III“, Minsk, 2001, 2002, 2007), “The Threesome” (“Трое“, Minsk, 2001), “100 Miniatures” (“100 миниатюр“, Minsk, 2002) and others.
Marakou has also published a monograph about his uncle, renowned Belarusian poet and translator of the 1920th and 1930th, Valery Marakou (a favourite student of the greatest national poet of Belarus, Yanka Kupala), who was executed by members of the punitive NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) units during the bloodiest night in the Belarusian history, from 28th to 29th October of 1937, when Stalin’s murderers had exterminated about 100 cultural and literature figures of Belarus, the elite of the nation, locked up in the Minsk’s internal NKVD prison.
Beginning from 1999, the books by Marakou, despite their low-volume circulation (due to the fact that the writer had to finance publication from his own personal means), are always included in the 10 best books of the year in Belarus.
A note to those who are looking to find more online information about the writer: as of now, such information is available mainly in Belarusian and Russian languages, but hopefully, more sources will become available in the nearest future. You are advised to submit both versions of the writer’s name, when using a search engine to gather complete list of online references: “Леанід Маракоў” and “Леонид Моряков”.