September 26, 1983 the world was very close to a nuclear war. At Russia’s main nuclear command center the console suddenly started to flash MISSILE
ATTACK and START while warning sirens were wailing. The system indicated that the US had launched 5 nuclear missiles against the USSR. Russian Lt.
Colonel Stanislav Petrov
was the officer on duty and it was demanded of him to notify his superiors of the attack immediately and launch all
5,000 or so Russian nuclear missiles against the US. Instead he called Kremlin and told them it was a false alarm, even if he wasn´t sure that it was
a false alarm. He found it strange that the US were not launching more than 5 missiles. It eventually turned out to be a false alarm. Because he
disobeyed orders, he was transferred and never got any medals or recognition. Thursday 19th January 2006 he received a special World Citizen Award at
a UN meeting in New York.
MosNews: Russian Colonel Who Averted Nuclear War Receives World Citizen
Retired Russian colonel Stanislav Petrov received a special World Citizen Award at a UN meeting in New York on Thursday. Petrov was honored as the
“Man Who Averted Nuclear War”. In a meeting held at the UN’s Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium on Jan. 19, the Association of World Citizens (AWC)
presented the retired officer with his award. The inscription on the award, which has a granite base with a solid glass hand holding the earth, read:
“The single hand that holds the earth symbolizes your heroic deed on September 26, 1983 that earned you the title: The Man Who Averted Nuclear
War.” The back of the award read: “May the hand now symbolize humanity united to save our world by eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of
the earth.” Back in 1983 Petrov made a decision that prevented a war that could have destroyed the planet. He was the duty officer at Russia’s
main nuclear command center in September 1983 when the system indicated a nuclear missile attack was launched by the U.S. on Russia.
Petrov was highly aware that Cold War tensions were acute, as USSR fighters had shot down a Korean airliner on Sept. 1. But he was completely shocked
when the warning siren began to wail and two lights on his desk console began flashing MISSILE ATTACK and START. “Start” was the instruction to
launch, irreversibly, all 5,000 or so Soviet missiles and obliterate America. A new, unproven Soviet satellite system had picked up a flash in Montana
near a Minuteman II silo. Then another — five, all told. Petrov recalls his legs were “like cotton,” as they say in Russian. He stared at the
huge electronic wall map of the United States in terror and disbelief. As his staff gawked upward at him from the floor, he had the thought, “Who
would order an attack with only five missiles? That big an idiot has not been born yet, not even in the U.S.”
Then he made the decision that saved the world. Summoning up his firmest voice, he called his Kremlin liaison and said it was a false alarm.
Today, Petrov, 67, lives in Moscow on a monthly pension of less than $200.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Wow, that was close! Hats off to Stanislav Petrov. Thank you!