KIEV, July 30. /TASS/. Soviet spy Colonel Anatoly Baronin, retired, has died in Ukraine. He was 86, the press-service of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence said.
While on a foreign assignment in Nigeria in the 1970s he was the first to have obtained crucial information about the newly-discovered deadly disease - the Ebola virus fever.
"Test tubes containing samples of infected blood were urgently delivered to the Soviet Union by a special Aeroflot flight. Germany’s Stern magazine in the 1970 described Baronin as an outstanding spy master," the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence said.
Baronin was born in Moscow in 1932. He served as the Soviet intelligence’s station chief in Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia. His career in the KGB’s First Main Directorate lasted 25 years. Upon completion of his foreign assignments he worked at the central office of the Soviet intelligence in Moscow. During his last five years in service he was first deputy chief of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence. After retirement in 1991 Baronin started lecturing trainees at Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Institute.
The Ebola virus was detected in the delta of the Zaire river in 1976. Outbreaks of the disease occurred in a number of African countries, such as Sudan, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo and Angola. The worst epidemic occurred in 2014-2016, when 28,600 were infected.