Vasil' Bykau was a Belarussian author of novels and novellas about World War II.2010 0-7734-3813-0
This book is one of few works by a Soviet writer that provides an honest portrayal of the life of a Soviet foot soldier on the Eastern front in World War II. Aside from the brilliant depiction of life at the front, it reveals how members of Stalin’s secret police transformed themselves into war heroes and began to resurrect Stalinism, following the War. Understandably, Bykau’s novel was res non grata
and not published in its entirety until after the demise of the Soviet Union.