Talk:1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia  
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles that are spoken on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.


It seems that this article focuses far more on the 1983 incident than the biography of Petrov (though the incident is his primary notability). Perhaps we should rename or split off into 1983 Soviet false alarm incident or something to that effect. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 13:01, 10 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

BTW, the article does not mention that the Soviet Early Warning System was not adopted at that time (it was at test stage), and it was expected to be malfunctioning.[1] Hellerick (talk) 16:16, 22 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also support the renaming. (talk) 02:26, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support the renaming. I was expecting info about Petrov and a link to an article about the incident. Even if the information about Petrov is limited, I think it should be separate. Xitit (talk) 12:08, 30 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I must endorse the above views and wonder what the reason is that these changes have not yet been put in hand? Semperlibre —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:23, 26 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Crucial broken link[edit]

The very first (crucial) link is broken. Here it is: [2] ,

cite web
| title = 24 years on - The man who saved millions of lives
| publisher = The Malta Star
| url =
| accessdate = 2008-03-22

I've replaced it with citation-needed tag. (talk) 02:35, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Caveat lector: a heavily-censored article[edit]

Wikipedia readers interested in the censorship of this article should examine the diffs at each deletion of text in the article's History page. No doubt many of the deletions may be considered justified. Others, if they can be supported from the citations quoted and linked should be returned— with citations or in the form of direct quotations— to the article. For Wikipedia policy on censorship, see Wikipedia:Censorship.--Wetman (talk) 16:33, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Such a geveral accusation isn't really useful. Specific problem diffs might help, along with an explanation of exactly what is being "censored" here. Do you actually mean that a certain POV is being maintained by certain editors/users? - BilCat (talk) 17:06, 26 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Background reference link is broken[edit]

The reference for the background section is broken. Please update accordinglyWhizkid 0000 (talk) 14:55, 30 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

most likely ?[edit]

> This decision most likely resulted in preventing an accidental 
> retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its Western allies.

I don't think we should say "most likely" here. See below. How about "possibly" or "...may have prevented..." I myself subjectively consider the probability of a nuclear Russian "response" smaller than 10% if Petrov had not been commander.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Gsgs2 (talkcontribs) 2010-04-25T04:27

Looks good to me - changed to "may have". Still, credit where credit is due. - 2/0 (cont.) 07:46, 25 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I was curious why the mans photo was deleted. --UnicornTapestry (talk) 04:18, 8 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1983: Doomsday[edit]

Would it be considered spam to add to the External links section a link to the 1983: Doomsday timeline? It is a collaborative alternate history project with the POD that Petrov is not around to make his decision not to inform the higher ups of the incoming missiles and the consequences of his actions. Zombie Hunter Smurf (talk) 18:21, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it would.
For what reason, would you say? (talk) 16:35, 2 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suppose if the TL got significant media attention it could be included--BryceIII (talk) 21:19, 14 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incident Paragraph[edit]

Starts with saying one missile then quotes five missiles. Which is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unless I'm mistaken, the first warning had one missile and the second an additional four. Thus leading to the total of five from the quote. (talk) 13:19, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Merge Stanislav Petrov back into 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident. As the article history and the Talk: page #Title section above show, there was originally a single article called Stanislav Petrov, and a new article 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident was refactored out of it in 2011. I think that was a mistake; the entire article should simply have been renamed. Petrov is a WP:ONEEVENT person who does not need a separate article: there is too much overlap between the two articles. The biographical article about him contains mostly information in the article about the incident, with some additional information that could just as well be in the incident article (e.g. the statement by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations is more about the context of the incident than Petrov's specific role in it). jnestorius(talk) 09:21, 27 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Saving the world as we know it and the lifes of millions of people is a pretty noticeable achievement. That one event should make him noteworthy enough for a separate article :) Hepcat65 (talk) 10:43, 9 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Being granted a Wikipedia article of one's own is not a reward for outstanding merit. There are entire galaxies that don't have their own article, simply because there is not enough to say about them. jnestorius(talk) 13:56, 9 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:ONEEVENT says "If the event is highly significant, and the individual's role within it is a large one, a separate article is generally appropriate." The various prizes Mr Petrov has been granted fits better in an article about him than in the article about the incident. Hepcat65 (talk) 12:12, 10 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This man may have singlehandedly saved the human race. And if that doesn't merit a separate page on Wikipedia - let alone separate peace awards, statues, songs and plays and the heartfelt thanks of everyone alive since 1983 - then nobody deserves a page on Wikipedia. (also see Vasili Arkhipov, another man who saved the world from nuclear war who has his own page) Randy Kryn 1:17 25-11-13 (UTC)
I am willing to a big facelift to both of these articles, and have a number of sources that are not currently cited, but the articles overlap to the point that I'm not sure how to proceed. I completely understand the argument that he deserves his own article, but I simply don't see enough info on Petrov himself to make it any more than a short article with info already stated in this article. I'll work on cleaning this article up for now, but unless we can find some more sources on Petrov (there's nothing his childhood, for example) I say we merge them; I'd rather have one complete article on both man and incident than two short articles repeating info. blackngold29 03:09, 13 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did the Sovjet Union have over-the-horizon radar?[edit]

Reference 7 is to a piece by David Hoffman from 1999 stating that 'radars ... cannot see beyond the horizon'. This is in conflict with the Duga radar article which states such a system (Duga 3) was in place in USSR in the mid 70s and lasting to the late 80s. Maybe these radars were not available to Petrov and his team at the time, but if so, this should be specified in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 27 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've tagged the claim that The Soviet Union's land radar was incapable of detecting missiles beyond the horizon. as dubious for this reason. 2A00:23C3:70A:4100:1902:53D8:F98D:EB5A (talk) 17:39, 26 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Propaganda and manufactured info[edit]

I was a short wave radio enthusiast at the time. The day before was calm but the next evening the entire world was up in arms. Every national short wave station was dedicated to the threat of nuclear war. The entire view point was that the US system accidentally sent attack warnings to the USSR. Apparently, the US sent not just one or two but dozens of warnings over several hours and could not shut down the US system to stop the false warnings. The USSR begged for world influence to halt the warnings. The world wide uproar last seven or eight days and then stopped with no more reports, discussions, or talks but only silence about the events. About six months later, the American news reported that Reagan made a snide comment about Russian cowards. Shortly after that a report came out that there had been an American activation of nuclear defense forces about the time of the false warnings. Very oddly not one American, family, friend, co-worker, or American news media anywhere had heard of a the false alarm yet the short wave radio signals where crazy insane with wild speculation and fear of pending doom. The incident should be called the US false alarm and not the Soviet false alarm. Calif.DonTracy (talk) 01:15, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]