OBIT: Stanislav Petrov Is Dead at 77
By SEWELL CHAN
SEPTEMBER 18, 2017
Early on the morning of Sept. 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov helped prevent the outbreak of nuclear war.
A 44-year-old lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces, he was a few hours into his shift as the duty officer at Serpukhov-15, the secret command center outside Moscow where the Soviet military monitored its early-warning satellites over the United States, when alarms went off.
Computers warned that five Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles had been launched from an American base.
“For 15 seconds, we were in a state of shock,” he later recalled. “We needed to understand, ‘What’s next?’ ”
His gut level understanding that the US would not start a first strike attack with only 5 missiles saved the world that day. Hopefully there are people in the right places now to make the same calls with courage and integrity; the right person in the right place at the right time.
Thank you, Colonel.