Soviet submarine officer who averted nuclear war honoured with prize

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Vasili Arkhipov, who prevented escalation of the cold war by refusing to launch a nuclear torpedo against US forces, is to be awarded new ‘Future of Life’ prize

A senior officer of a Soviet submarine who averted the outbreak of nuclear conflict during the cold war is to be honoured with a new prize, 55 years to the day after his heroic actions averted global catastrophe.

On 27 October 1962, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov was on board the Soviet submarine B-59 near Cuba when the US forces began dropping non-lethal depth charges. While the action was designed to encourage the Soviet submarines to surface, the crew of B-59 had been incommunicado and so were unaware of the intention. They thought they were witnessing the beginning of a third world war.

Related: Thank you Vasili Arkhipov, the man who stopped nuclear war | Edward Wilson

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