The Soviet Who Saved the World (w/ The Eastern Border)

The Soviet Who Saved the World (w/ The Eastern Border)
29 de abr. de 2024 · 1h 21m 52s

In this special conversational episode of History Impossible, we’re joined again by friend of the show and friend of mine, Kristaps Andrejsons of The Eastern Border podcast (which will also...

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In this special conversational episode of History Impossible, we’re joined again by friend of the show and friend of mine, Kristaps Andrejsons of The Eastern Border podcast (which will also host this conversation on its feed!), who was kind enough to grace the shores of the United States for a visit, specifically Texas. Specifically, we turned to his recent special wedding episode where he discussed the eponymous “man who saved the world,” Stanislav Petrov, who, according to erroneous headlines from publications like the Atlantic a number of years ago, saved the world by “doing absolutely nothing.” Kristaps is here to disabuse us all of such a ridiculous notion.

In 1983, the Cold War was at its most tense since the early 1960s, particularly during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was during this time that the monitoring station where Stanislav Petrov was station picked up signals indicating that a handful of nuclear missiles launched from the United States had been launched in the direction of the Soviet Union. While he could have responded without thinking, leading to missiles being launched back at the United States, Petrov opted to wait for visual confirmation of the incoming missiles, putting both he and potentially hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens in jeopardy. His rationality paid off and it turned out that there had indeed been an error in the detection equipment. No missiles had been fired.

Why was this so extraordinary? This is what Kristaps is here to tell us about for us to discuss, along with scatterings of news from Ukraine as well as the eternal debate over American involvement overseas, as well as the proliferation of nuclear weaponry. It’s actually a fairly light episode, considering the subject matter, so enjoy!

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Autor Alexander von Sternberg
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