Vasili Arkhipov

In the amazing doc about pianist Slatioslav Richter, he spoke lots about Russian musicians who I knew nothing about. One that sounded curious was Maria Yudina who also was Stalin’s favourite pianist, whatever that means. Richter told a story about her playing Chopin at a concert during WW2 and she played it very tough and staccato. He asked her after why she played Chopin so weird and she answered him defiantly “because we are at war”.
During the Cuban missile crisis, there was a Russian submarine near America armed with a nuclear torpedos. Protocol required 3 officers to agree before launching an attack. The only reason nuclear war wasn’t initiated in 1962 was because of Vasili Arkhipov’s decision, he voted against it, the other two voted to proceed. He’s dead now but in a couple weeks it is his 92cnd birthday. It is a world that more likely names substantial places after the Putins or Trumps rather than honour and be grateful for the Arkhipovs.

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