[lit-ideas] Bet you didn't know Stanislav saved the world...

  • From: Scribe1865@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 16:49:51 EDT

Ex-Soviet Officer Honored for Prudence
Ignored Alarm in 1983 that Wrongly Signaled Incoming U.S. Minuteman Missiles
MOSCOW (May 21) - A retired Soviet military officer was honored Friday for 
averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 by ignoring an alarm that said the 
United States had launched a ballistic missile, a U.S.-based peace association 
said on its Web site.
Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was in charge of the Soviet Union's early warning 
system when the system wrongly signaled the launch of a U.S. Minuteman 
intercontinental ballistic missile in September 1983.
Petrov had to decide within 20 minutes whether the report was accurate and 
whether he should launch missiles in retaliation, the Vlast magazine reported 
in 
1998.
At the time of the incident, tensions between the United States and the 
Soviet Union were high. The Soviet military had recently shot down a Korean Air 
Lines jet that strayed over Soviet airspace, killing all 269 people on board.
Petrov decided the alarm was false and did not launch a retaliatory strike.
The article said Petrov suffered severe stress after the incident and spent 
several months in hospitals before being discharged from the military.
On Friday, the San-Francisco-based Association of World Citizens, a worldwide 
organization promoting peace, presented Petrov with the World Citizen Award 
and launched a campaign to raise $1,000 for the Russian, who receives only a 
meager pension.
"All the 20 years that passed since that moment, I didn't believe I had done 
something extraordinary. I was simply doing my job and I did it well," Petrov 
said on Russia's NTV television.
05/21/04 12:50 EDT
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

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