He was born in the family of a Soviet Army officer. He graduated from the Suvorov Military School in Vladikavkaz, and then from Joint Arms High Command Military Academy. He then worked as a GRU intelligence officer in Singapore in 1978, in China from 1980, and in the United States from 1988. He defected to U.S. authorities in 1992. Since then he has worked as a consultant to the FBI and the CIA. As of 2000, he remained in the FBI’s Witness Protection Program.
Poisoning of Potomac River
According to Lunev, a probable scenario in the event of war would have been poisoning the Potomac River with chemical or biological weapons, “targeting the residents of Washington, D.C.” He also considered it “likely” that GRU operatives placed “poison supplies near the tributaries to major US reservoirs.” These allegations have been confirmed by former SVR officer Kouzminov who was responsible for transporting pathogens from around the world for Russian program of biological weapons in the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. He described a variety of biological warfare acts that would be carried out on the order of the Russian President in the event of hostilities, including poisoning public drinking-water supplies and food processing plants.