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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 25, 1963

TOP SECRET CIPHER TELEGRAM FROM ANASTAS MIKOYAN TO CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Mikoyan reports his recent conversations with US officials following JFK’s assassination. He reports that it is likely that Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, will likely maintain Kennedy’s policy on US-Soviet foreign relations. US Ambassador Thompson also talks to Mikoyan about US concerns about the Soviet press coverage of the assassination.
    "Top Secret Cipher Telegram from Anastas Mikoyan to CPSU Central Committee" November 25, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Yeltsin documents given to Bill Clinton on 20 June 1999, US National Archives and Records Administration http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117349
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 [handwritten: 1088/48121 [?] 11/26/1963 TOP SECRET 46

CIPHER TELEGRAM REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED

Copy no. 12

WASHINGTON 54416 11 30 26 XI 63

54419 54417

Special no. 2002-2004

HIGHEST PRIORITY

CC CPSU

Today, during the President’s reception, I had a number of brief conversations with US officials.

In the remarks of these persons, two things are worth noting:

1. All of them ([Secretary of State Dean] Rusk, [US Ambassador to Moscow Llewellyn] Thompson, disarmament agency director Foster, high-ranking officials from the State Department), in addition to expressing their deep appreciation for the Soviet government’s decision to send its special representative to Kennedy’s funeral, made a point of saying from the outset they were sure that President Kennedy’s policy on Soviet-US relations, as well as US foreign policy in general, would be kept [the same] under the new president—Lyndon Johnson.

2. In his conversation with me, Thompson pointedly touched on an issue he had discussed yesterday with comrade [Soviet ambassador] Dobrynin – the commentaries in the Soviet press concerning the assassination of President Kennedy, particularly the circumstances surrounding the investigation of this entire matter.

The gist of Thompson’s comments was that the emphasis given in the Soviet press to the involvement of extreme right-wing circles in Kennedy’s assassination (and then in Oswald’s murder) complicates the situation of those in the US who favor improvement of Soviet-US relations, because the US press immediately counters such statement with assertions of Oswald’s "communist and Cuban connections."

I told Thompson we did not want to make any complications; however, neither could we ignore a situation where the US government had not yet investigated all the circumstances surrounding the assassination, but the U.S. media were senselessly reproaching us and Cuba in connection with Kennedy’s murder.

Thompson replied he was aware of that, but asked me to understand his remarks. The government is now investigating all the particulars of the case, Thompson said, and it is in our common interest to see that the Soviet press confine itself to setting forth the facts and refrain from "premature conclusions" until the end of the investigation, since this was only playing into the hands of right-wingers who were using this to fan anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria.

Judging from everything, the US government does not want to involve us in this matter, but neither does it want to get into a fight with the extreme rightists; it clearly prefers to consign the whole business to oblivion as soon as possible. Our reaction to these murders has already played its role. The President stated today publicly that a thorough investigation would be carried out.

I believe that in further statements by our press, this point should be taken into account. This will help weaken attempts to foment an anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban campaign.

A. Mikoyan

25 November 1963