Patch of larch trees planted as a Soviet intelligence agent’s memorial in Permyakia


In Komi-Permyak Okrug, a patch of larch trees is planted and carefully arranged to look like a Soviet intelligence agent’s name. As seen on Google Maps, the trees resemble Kuznetsov (Кузнецов) name. They were planted back in 1977 by Soviet Forest Management as a tribute to Nikolai Kuznetsov, Soviet intelligence agent and partisan who operated in Nazi-occupied Ukraine during WW2. His file is still not fully disclosed and until 2025 is kept safe in the FSB archives. He used several pseudonyms during his intelligence operations: Rudolf Schmidt, Nikolai Vasilevitsh Grachev (Николай Васильевич Грачёв) and Oberleutnant Paul Siebert.


According to Wikipedia, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Kuznetsov, at his own request, was sent to join Soviet partisan units in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine.

Nikolai Kuznetsov dressed as a Luftwaffe officer. 1942

Nikolai Kuznetsov dressed as a Luftwaffe officer. 1942

He was in charge of several complex operations involving assassinations and kidnappings of high-ranking Nazi officials in the Rivne and Lviv regions, such as successful operations against the German-appointed chief judge of Ukraine, the vice-governor of Galicia, the imperial adviser to the Reichskommissar of Ukraine, three German generals and others. Kuznetsov was also the first intelligence agent to uncover German plans to launch a massive tank attack in the Kursk region, information about German V-2 rockets, as well as about Operation Long Jump, Hitler’s plan to assassinate the heads of the USSR, USA and Great Britain during the Tehran Conference. According to Soviet version, he was killed in a firefight with members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army near the city of Brody on March 9, 1944. In an alternative version by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldiers, Kuznetsov and his associates were detained in village of Boratyn near Brody while dressed as German soldiers. Avoiding to be discovered, Kuznetsov blew himself on grenade.

Nikolai Ivanovich Kuznetsov has been posthumously awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union. A main-belt asteroid 2233 Kuznetsov discovered in 1972 by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova is named after him. A city of Volhynia, Kuznetsovsk is named after the Soviet agent.

According to the Forest Service Official, this is not the only patch of trees they’ve planted. In Yusvinsky district, 60 acres patch of cedars trees that resembles star has been planted as another reminder of Soviets’ glorious past.

Location: near Kudymkar, Permskiy kray
Coordinates: 58°54’11.3″N 54°42’28.9″E
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