Hiroshima Rally, August 5, 2012
Hi All from Russia!
I have not seen the horror of Hiroshima, but I was
involved in Cuban missile crisis. For me,
these two tragic events have merged into one.
Inthose anxious days of
I - 25-year-old officer of Soviet Rocket Forces - was at command post of
division in the Urals. My task was to facilitate the reliable
transfer of orders from Moscowtonuclear missiles SS-7, targeted at America.
Most difficult moment of the crisis came in Black Friday, 27 October, when American spy-plane U-2
was shot down over Cuba, and the order came from Moscow to use the
wartime communications data.
I tell you briefly about main things.
First: it was really a critical moment from technical point of view. If we had started to
fill the rocket fuel, then there would be only two possible outcomes:
either to launch missiles to targets, or after the crisis to throw
all those super-expensive "toys" to the dump as worthless
Secondly, it was very special moment in psychological terms. Here even a natural instinctive fear
for my own life gave way to utter bewilderment: why destroy the Earth, to whom all this necessary, and it really is not a dream?
And, finally, third: it’s
amazing, but I still see at the present this picture in detail:
silence at command post, and unusual mixture of emotions on faces of
officers and soldiers: surprise, frustration, and resoluteness. It
seems to me that it was yesterday. The resoluteness of those people
is etched in my mind stronger than all other events.
I thinkthe world was saved largely due to the fact that missiles of those days were imperfect:
they required many hours to prepare for launch. This circumstance
helped Kennedy and Khrushchev to reach agreement. Today, the Russian
“Satan” or American “Minuteman” demands only couple minutes.
Here, without comment.
We must act. It isnecessary -
and it is possible - to remove a finger from the trigger, reduce the
launch readiness of all missiles. And then, to move more firmly on
the path of deep cuts in nuclear arsenals. Fears and doubts of
official structures in the United States, Russia and other nuclear
states in this regard are clear, but they can be dispelled, if all
parties sit down at a common computer and find out really adequate
Minimum. If the society starts to take part in solving the question
"How much is enough?", then one can come to levels in tens,
or even units, of nuclear warheads on each side. It is the
prerogative and responsibility of all of us, not just a small group
of officials. From this milestone, it will be very close to the
Global Zero.But, to achieve Zero, we need,
in the beginning, learn how to reach Real Minimum - step
by step, patiently, andpersistently.
I’m surethat we have sufficient common sense and strength to move more firmly on this path.