Catching the USSR’s last days on camera

The newsman’s view

The World Today
Published 5 December 2014 Updated 19 February 2021 1 minute READ

Nick Turner

Freelance cameraman working for US networks

My colleagues used to joke that I was the last casualty of the Cold War; a comprehensive beating by Stasi thugs in Dresden had broken my left leg in two places. It was a bittersweet moment to watch the fall of the Berlin Wall on television.

Less than a month later I was clambering up the missile pods of a Soviet Kirov class cruiser. Still incapacitated and for once without a camera, I travelled to Valletta as the pool producer for the American networks. In the days before digital miniaturization tons of satellite equipment and miles of cables were needed to get a live signal back to the TV station.

For meetings on dry land it was tough enough, but in Malta the concluding press conference was to be broadcast live from state room of the Soviet guided-missile cruiser Slava off the coast.

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