“Comrade Colonel Stanislaw Petrov had to go.

KAL007 had been shot down. NATO began Exercise Able Archer.

We thought it was the end.

And 26th September 1983, under his command we detected an ICBM launch. Then another four.

And what did he do?

He waited.

Checked the satellite observers.

No confirmation.

The ground radar.

No confirmation.

Called a false alarm.

And he saved the world.

So what? The apocalypse had been merely postponed. 

As he found our systems had failed, as his CO I kicked him downstairs.

It was a little infraction but enough: he hadn’t updated the war diary.”