This village received its name in the Peter the Great era. By order of the Tsar, a slaughterhouse was founded in the village to provide food to those engaged in the construction of St Petersburg, located 150 km from Myasnoi Bor.
The village of Myasnoi Bor is located northeast of Veliky Novgorod, near where the M-11 road intersects with the railway tracks. It is popular with tourists because it is conveniently located just 30 km from Veliky Novgorod and can easily be reached by bus or train. The village is famous for the gloomy atmosphere of its forests and swamps, a site where dozens of thousands of Soviet soldiers were killed in a failed offensive during World War II.
The destruction of the 2nd Shock Army
It is well known that one of the bloodiest battles of World War II happened on Novgorodian land. Some 800,000 Russian soldiers were killed, many of them near Myasnoi Bor, during the Soviet Army’s failed attempt to break the siege of Leningrad. The offensive failed and the army was hemmed in by the enemy and had to break free to the northwest of Myasnoi Bor.
What to see in Myasnoi Bor
There are only two landmarks: a memorial complex with a military burial site and the so-called Valley of Death. A long narrow passage across the marsh, the “valley” was used by the encircled soldiers from the 2nd Shock Army to escape in late March 1942. Some 146,546 people died in this corridor that was as little as 300 metres wide in places. Due to the marshy terrain, tens of thousands of dead have never been located and properly buried. According to the locals and members of historical societies, the area is full of natural anomalies and places avoided by animals and birds. Many swear to have heard the voices of dead soldiers and the sounds of battle.