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Nikolai Ivanovich Kuznetsov was born in 1911 in the village of Zyryanka in Perm province. In 1926 he graduated from a seven year school and entered an agricultural technical school. During his studies he studied German, as well as six German dialects, Polish, Ukrainian, Esperanto and the Permian Komi language.
In 1938 Kuznetsov was recruited as a highly classified special agent of the secret-political department.
In January 1942 he was given the “legend” that he was a German Lieutenant Paul Wilhelm Siebert. In the summer of 1942 he was sent to a special unit in Rovno, where he posed as a Gestapo officer. He communicated with German army officers and passed the received information to the partisans.
In March 1943 Kuznetsov personally captured Major Haan, courier for the Reichskommissar of Ukraine. This operation established that Adolf Hitler’s “Werewolf” bunker was established and equipped in 8 km from Vinnitsa.
On 20 September 1943 Kuznetsov kills Koch’s deputy finance Hans Gehl and his secretary Winter. In September 30 he blew up Paul Dargel, head of administration at the Reichslimmissariat, with a grenade.
In November 1943 he captured the commander of the Eastern battalions Major-General Max Ilgen.
Kuznetsov’s last “liquidation” operation in Rovno was the murder of Oberfuhrer Alfred Funk, head of the legal department of the Reichskommissariat of Ukraine, on 16 November 1943.
The list of German generals and official killed by Kuznetsov is impressive. Kuznetsov remained invulnerable to the German secret services, even though they were on a real hunt for partisans.
At the beginning of March 1944 he encountered a bandera squad which wanted to capture Kuznetsov alive, but the scout gave his last battle. Some say he was killed, others say he blew himself up with a grenade. His grave was not discovered until 1959.
For many opponents of fascism, Kuznetsov’s life remains an example of selfless service to his homeland. He became a posthumous Hero of Soviet Union, streets were named after him, monuments were erected, more than a dozen books were published and at least six films were made.