Nikolai Ivanovich Kuznetsov (Николай Иванович Кузнецов) (July 27 1911–March 9 1944) (pseudonym - Grachev) was a Soviet intelligence agent and partisan who operated in the occupied Ukraine during World War II.
He was born into a peasant family in the Yekaterinburg region. He studied forestry in a technical school and, after discovering his linguistic talents, learned German, Esperanto, Polish and Ukrainian. In 1932 he enrolled into Sverdlovsk Industrial Institute and continued to study German and other foreign languages.
In 1938, Kuznetsov moved to Moscow and joined the NKVD. When the Great Patriotic War started, Kuznetsov, at his own request, was sent to join partisan units in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. In 1942, he fought as a member of guerrilla group "Victors", led by Dmitry Medvedev, in central and western Ukraine. 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 Hitler's plan to assassinate the heads of the USSR, USA and Great Britain during the Tehran Conference.
On March 8 1944, he was killed in a firefight with members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army near the city of Lviv, who had mistaken Kuznetsov for a German deserter since he was wearing a Wehrmacht uniform. There is also a possibility that the Ukranianians were on the Germans side and were causing a road blockade.
Nikolai Ivanovich Kuznetsov has been posthumously awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union. A minor planet 2233 Kuznetsov discovered in 1972 by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova is named after him.