Vasili Arkhipov

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Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (Russian: Василий Александрович Архипов, IPA: [vɐˈsʲilʲɪj ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ arˈxipɔːf], 30 January 1926 – 19 August 1998) was a Soviet Navy officer. He is known for casting the single vote that prevented a Soviet nuclear strike (and, presumably, all-out nuclear war) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Such an attack likely would have caused a major global thermonuclear response.

Noam Chomsky said Arkhipov saved the world for his decision.[1] He was a flotilla commander and second-in-command of the diesel powered submarine B-59.

Arkhipov refused to authorize the captain's use of nuclear torpedoes against the United States Navy, a decision requiring the agreement of all three senior officers aboard. In 2002 Thomas Blanton, who was then director of the US National Security Archive, said that Arkhipov "saved the world".[2]

Arkhipov died of kidney cancer on 19 August 1998 in Zheleznodorozhny, Moscow Oblast at the age of 72.

References[change | change source]

  1. Noam Chomsky, in his book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance[1] cited we were "one word away from nuclear war" and "a devastating response would be a near certainty", and also noted that President Dwight Eisenhower stated "a major war would destroy the northern hemisphere"(Chomsky, pp. 74)
  2. Lloyd, Marion (13 October 2002). "Soviets Close to Using A-Bomb in 1962 Crisis, Forum is Told". Boston Globe. pp. A20. Retrieved 7 August 2012.