LONDON--Moscow came close to pushing the panic button in 1983 and starting the Third World War in November, 1983, according to the most senior KGB officer ever recruited by the West.
Oleg Gordievski, in an article published yesterday in The Sunday Telegraph, said Western military manoeuvres in 1983 frightened the Kremlin and brought Moscow chillingly close to pushing the "panic button."
He said the Kremlin became "jittery" when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a secret drill to practise nuclear release procedures in the event of all-out war.
Code-named "Able Archer," it was scheduled to run Nov. 2-11.
Warsaw Pact intelligence began to monitor the exercise. Then western intelligence began to monitor the monitors.
But the West, at a time Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was dying and Konstantin Chernenko was about to assume power, detected a sharp increase in the urgency and tone of the communist communications.
"The incredible seemed to be happening, namely that the Warsaw Pact suspected it might really be facing nuclear attack at any moment," the article stated.
It said Gordievski told the British, who recruited him in 1974, that they should realize they were reaching a "danger zone."
"It was on Nov. 8-9, Gordievski revealed, that the Kremlin had pressed what came close to a panic button," the paper said.
Without revealing where he was living, the paper said Gordievski had decided to go public for the first time in the hope that "glasnost," or openness, at home might enable his wife Leila, whom he married in 1978, and their two daughters, Anna and Maria, to leave the Soviet Union.
The newspaper said the full story would be told in a new book
by Gordon Brook-Shepherd, The Storm Birds.
(text of October 16, 1988 The Province article)
link to footnote about meeting with Dr. Jay C. Davis and the Israeli bombers at the Iraqi border thing and the UN Weapons Inspection report page and do the phone bill if necessary
AND THEN, FROM 1994, THERE IS WHAT YOU FIND IF YOU TAKE YOUR NEXT FOOTSTEP HERE...