Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov

Photo of Stanislav Petrov
Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World From a Nuclear Holocaust

On 26 September 1983, just three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Lieutenant Colonel Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that five missiles had been launched from the United States. Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm,and his decision is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in large-scale nuclear war.