No, Nikolajev was the leader of the Recon Platoon. He survived the operation. Mstitelj was commanded by Popov.Juha Hujanen wrote:The Avengers partisan unit was likely the Detachment 116 (Mstitelj),which operated in Sekee sector earlier. Its CO was Karelian known as Nikolajev.
Actually, Gusarov gives that 120 (or 119 or 124, his figure is a bit ambigous) for the number of partisans who returned in the main group. In addition 34 partisans returned before the brigade crossed Finnish lines (44 were sent back, 10 died in a Finnish ambush: this ambush is described in Gusarov's book. He got his information directly from two survivors). Gusarov mentions three other groups of partisans who returned after being separated from the brigade: Nikolajev's recon platoon (apparently 11 survivors), and "squads" led by Polevik and Sabalin. He doesn't tell how many survivors returned with those two groups. There is also the possibility that some individual partisans reached Soviet outposts and perhaps even some members from Grisukov's platoon (of the "Toivo Antikainen" detachment) that seems to have got separated from the main unit shortly before the battle on the hill 264.9. The total number of partisan survivors seems to be around 200 men. (G.N. Kuprijanov gives the figure of 288 survivors but that seems to be suspiciously high).Juha Tompuri wrote:According to the Finnish version of the Soviet era "Za tsertoj miloserdija" ( Korpi ei tunne armoa, No mercy at the wilderness) by Dimitri Gusarov 119 (120?) of them got home ("less 20" of them being female). Of the KIA 80 male "partisans" had died of hunger. According to the "Sissiprikaatin tuho" ( The Destruction of the Partisan Brigade) by Pentti H. Tikkanen 24 "partisans" were taken POW. Finnish casualities at the operations were KIA: 2 officers, 7 Nco and 28 privates. WIA: 9 officers, 18 Nco and 54 privates. One officer was MIA ( probably taken POW by the "partisans" and executed later. A war crime.
That one Finnish officer MIA was Lieutenant Väinö Yliperttula (whose surname is in simpler form "Perttula" in most sources). Gusarov's book has a description where a partisan shot Finnish officer from across a small marsh and then sneaked there to retrieve his backback. His papers then revealed the name of the casualty to be Perttula. The account where Gusarov describes how a Finnish officer was captured, interrogated, and shot during the same battle seems to be completely fiction: I haven't been able to find any suitable candidate for the prisoner from the Finnish database of combat losses. My hypothesis is that Gusarov uses him as a literary device that allows the partisans to find who their opponents were (IV/12.Pr). However, since some Soviet archieval sources claim that the partisans faced two batallions in that combat it looks to me that they didn't get that information during the battle.