On September 26, 1983, Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov received a message that five nuclear missiles had been launched by the United States and were heading to Moscow. He didn’t launch a retaliatory strike, believing correctly that it was a false alarm. And with that, he saved the world from nuclear war. But now reports have surfaced that Petrov died this past May. He was 77 years old.

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Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was 44 years old and working at a missile detection bunker south of Moscow on September 26, 1983. His computer told him that five nuclear missiles were on their way, and given their flight time, he had just 20 minutes to launch a counter attack. But Petrov told his superior officers that it was a false alarm. He had absolutely no real evidence that this was true, but it probably saved millions of lives.

Few people can legitimately claim to have personally saved the world, but this guy was someone who could. Покойся с миром!

An example of how Brexit could lead to a nuclear war could be this:

Brexit in the UK causes Italy or France to have a similar referendum. Le Pen wins an election in France. Europe now has a fractured EU. The EU, for all its many awful faults, has prevented a war in Europe for longer than ever before. The EU is also a major force in suppressing Putin’s military ambitions. European sanctions on Russia really hit the economy, and helped temper Russia’s attacks on Ukraine (there is a reason bad guys always want a weaker European Union). Trump wins in the US. Trump becomes isolationist, which weakens NATO. He has already said he would not automatically honor NATO commitments in the face of a Russian attack on the Baltics.

With a fractured EU, and weakened NATO, Putin, facing an ongoing economic and social crisis in Russia, needs another foreign distraction around which to rally his people. He funds far right anti-EU activists in Latvia, who then create a reason for an uprising of the Russian Latvians in the East of the country (the EU border with Russia). Russia sends “peace keeping forces” and “aid lorries” into Latvia, as it did in Georgia, and in Ukraine. He cedes Eastern Latvia as he did Eastern Ukraine (Crimea has the same population as Latvia, by the way).

Here now is a first look at the CCCP Cook Book: True Stories of Soviet Cuisine (Fuel Publishing) by authors and historians Olga and Pavel Syutkin. It's a rare glimpse into the decades around when the USSR (CCCP) was transitioning to Communism. Food shortages and limited access to staples like bread, milk, and fresh produce were commonplace in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. Whenever rations are tight, creativity rules. Every day citizens were inspired to invent dishes that sustained them through long winters and hard economic times. Meanwhile, the ruling class feasted on luxuries like suckling pig and caviar. Class distinctions are crystal clear in each recipe; the Syutkins note that some of the images are of dishes that would have only been considered "aspirational fantasy for the average Soviet household."

Everything Putin had worked for was now in doubt; everything he had believed was being mocked. This is the sort of insult that would have prompted the agile little boy and young man that Putin had been to jump the offender and pound him until his fury had subsided. Middle-aged, out-of-shape Putin sat idle and silent as his dreams and hopes for the future were destroyed.

Our train trip via Russia to North Korea - using an officially closed for foreigners route inside the "Hermit Kingdom"

Communist hardliners staged a coup against Mikhail Gorbachev 20 years ago, and the Soviet Union collapsed soon afterwards. Previously unknown documents, which SPIEGEL has obtained, show just how desperate the last Soviet leader was as he fought to retain power -- and how he begged Germany for money to save his country.

It’s a well-known fact that Russia has got a movie piracy problem. As a positive counter-action, Soviet/Russian production company Mosfilm recently announced a partnership with YouTube, unleashing tons of films for full, free, legal streaming on their online channel. Many are subtitled, and five new films will be added each week. For Western cinephiles, this is a prime opportunity to broaden horizons and venture into the lands of Soviet horror and banned silent film. For nostalgic expats, it’s a great chance to chortle and coo over “Shurik” and his Soviet-era leading man charms, i.e. black-framed glasses and a knack for time-machines. Here are a few suggestions for the weekend ahead for five types of movie watchers.

The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house. During the trip, you can enjoy Russian classic literature, brilliant images and fascinating stories about the most attractive sites on the route. Let's go!

Yarynich is talking about Russia's doomsday machine. That's right, an actual doomsday device—a real, functioning version of the ultimate weapon, always presumed to exist only as a fantasy of apocalypse-obsessed science fiction writers and paranoid über-hawks. The thing that historian Lewis Mumford called "the central symbol of this scientifically organized nightmare of mass extermination." Turns out Yarynich, a 30-year veteran of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces and Soviet General Staff, helped build one.

The internet agency Kavkaz Centre provides reporting of events in the Islamic world, the Caucasus, and Russia. One of Kavkaz Centre's chief objectives is to report events in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria connected to the Russian military aggression against the CRI. Besides we also provide international news agencies with news-letters, background information and assistance in making independent journalistic work in Caucasus.

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