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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

Russian Colonel Who Averted Nuclear War Receives World Citizen Award

`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”. [..]

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.”’




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