A Grave Among the Oaks

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There’s a spit of land cleaving Lake Blagodatnoe from the Sea of Japan in the Sikhote-Alin Reserve; a sandy rise five hundred meters long and half as wide, covered by a thin layer of soil and crowned by a monotypic forest of Mongolian oak. It’s not really a destination in and of itself; scientists or reserve rangers usually shuffle quickly through en route to the lake or further on to Khuntami Bay, pausing only to admire a tiger track or observe a flushing roe deer. But this unassuming patch shelters a remarkable secret; one with ties to the Russian Revolution itself. This forest contains a grave.

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