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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 30, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN MOSCOW (JASZCZUK), 30 OCTOBER 1962

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

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    Jaszczuk discusses the Cuban Missile Crisis, saying "The situation of the past few days has been exceptionally tense. We were on the brink of war. The USSR had information about an imminent invasion of Cuba."
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Moscow (Jaszczuk), 30 October 1962," October 30, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Szyfrogramy from Moskwa 1962, 6/77 w-83 t-1263. Polish Foreign Ministry Archive (AMSZ), Warsaw. Obtained by James G. Hershberg (George Washington University) and translated by Margaret K. Gnoinska (Troy University). https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115769
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Ciphergram No. 15997

Dispatched from Moscow on 30.10.1962 at 15:00

Received on 30.10.1962 at 15:20

Came into the Deciphering Department on 30.10.1962 at 15:25

To: [Foreign Minister Adam] RAPACKI, IMMEDIATELY

From: [Ambassador Boleslaw] JASZCZUK1

From the visit at [First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers Alexei] Kosygin’s:

[First Deputy Foreign Minister Vasili] Kuznetsov has not begun the talks yet. He was well received by the Americans, who are pleased with his arrival.

The situation of the past few days has been exceptionally tense. We were on the brink of war. The USSR had information about an imminent invasion of Cuba. Khrushchev’s statement regarding the dismantling of the starting devices was made pretty much at the last minute. If the Americans went into Cuba and wiped it out, half of the Cuban population and many Americans, could perish in the process. A war would begin. This would not have been a nuclear war, because only a madman would dare drop an atomic bomb. The long distance between us and Cuba, [Kosygin said,] would pose a great obstacle. We received guarantees from Kennedy of not attacking Cuba. We are relying on this [as this is] the president’s statement. If he were to break the promise, then all international norms would be trampled.

The blockade of Cuba continues, but the Soviet ships were already given instructions to leave the Cuban ports.

[1] Boleslaw Jaszczuk, Poland’s ambassador to the Soviet Union from 2 December 1959 to 25 September 1963.