Soviet officer may have averted nuclear war 30 years ago
MOSCOW - Thirty years ago this week, a potential nuclear disaster was averted, thanks to Mr Stanislav Petrov.
The duty officer at a Soviet Union early warning base decided to breach his instructions on the night of Sept 26, 1983, when sirens went off one after the other telling him that America had launched several missiles.
Mr Petrov, whose job was to register enemy missile launches and alert the Soviet military and political leadership, decided not to report the matter, and instead dismissed it as a false alarm.
Given the political atmosphere of 1983, a retaliatory attack from the Soviet side would have been a given, BBC reported, adding that his decision may have saved the world.
DOUBTS ABOUT ALERT
I had all the data (to suggest there was an ongoing missile attack). If I had sent my report up the chain of command, nobody would have said a word against it.
- Mr Stanislav Petrov (left), duty officer at the Soviet Union's early warning systems, who decided to breach his instructions on Sept 26, 1983, when sirens went off one after the other telling him that America had launched several missiles