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KGB Officer Defects in Athens

February 21, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Soviet KGB colonel has defected in Greece and been flown to the United States with his 8-year-old son and a woman described as a family friend, the State Department said Friday.

Department deputy spokesman Charles Redman identified the three as Victor P. Gundarev, his son Maxim and Galina Gromova.

Redman had no information on the woman but other officials, who asked not to be identified, said they believed she was the boy’s nanny. Redman said the three came to the United States at their request.

The other officials said they had seen reports that Soviet diplomats, apparently concerned when Gundarev dropped from sight, circled the U.S. Embassy in early last Saturday in a car in hopes of thwarting his defection.

U.S. security guards called police to the scene, the officials said, adding that the diplomats reportedly were questioned about their activities.

According to the officials, Gundarev is regarded here as a ″medium-level″ defector who ″is not in the same league″ as Vitaly Yurchenko, the high- ranking KGB officer who defected last August and returned to the Soviet Union after three months in CIA custody.

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