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Petrovs Dilemma - BBC Radio Cold War Documentary - cheops
What were you doing on the night of 26 September, 1983?
You probably weren't considering the end of civilisation amid a nuclear holocaust, but in a Soviet monitoring bunker outside Moscow, a 44-year-old lieutenant colonel, Stanislav Petrov, was contemplating just that as alarms started blaring and his screen flashed red, warning him that the United States had launched a missile attack against the Soviet Union.
Jonathan Charles hears the story of a man who obeyed his instincts and in doing so potentially saved the world from nuclear disaster.
On 26 September 1983, lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov, manning an installation where the Soviet Union monitored its early-warning satellites over the United States, was confronted by an alarm from a satellite signalling an American nuclear missile attack. Under enormous stress, he took the decision that the report was a false one triggered by system malfunction.
Contributors include former KGB agent Oleg Gordievsky, Times diplomatic correspondent Michael Binyon, former US Ambassador Christopher Mayer and author Dr Paul Bracken.
One episode of approximately 30 minutes.
First broadcast 28/7/2008 on BBC Radio 4.
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 128
Mode : joint stereo
Frequency : 48000 Hz
Encoder : Lame 3.98
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