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May 21, 1962

Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 32

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Present: Brezhnev, Voronov, Kozlov, Kirilenko, Kosygin, Kuusinen, Mikoyan, Polyansky, Suslov, Khrushchev, Shvernik, Grishin, Ilichev, Ponomarev, Shelepin, Gromyko, Malinovsky, Biryuzov.


I. Cde. Khrushchev’s informational report about the delegation’s trip to Bulgaria.[1]


Approve the work of the delegation


Regarding assistance to Cuba. How to help Cuba so that it can remain firm.




Come to an agreement with F[idel] Castro, conclude a military treaty regarding joint defense.


Station nuclear missiles [there].


Carry this out secretly. Then declare it.


Missiles under our command.


This will be an offensive policy.


Cdes. Malinovsky and Biryuzov are to make calculations and look [at sites] in time.[2]


Compose a letter to Castro.



[1] Translator’s Note: Khrushchev headed a large Soviet delegation that visited Bulgaria from 14 to 20 May 1962 to discuss a wide range of political, economic, and security issues. For a detailed account of the visit and its context, see RFE Research and Evaluation Department, Bulgarian Unit, “Khrushchev’s Bulgarian Visit: A Summing Up,” Background Report, 5 June 1962, in Open Society Archive (Budapest), Box 108, Folder 2, Report 66, pp. 1-11.


[2] Translator’s Note: Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky (1898-1967), a legendary Soviet World War II commander who had been elevated to the highest rank (Marshal of the Soviet Union) in 1944, served as Soviet minister of defense from 1957 until his death in 1967. Sergei Semenovich Biryuzov (1904-1964), another well-known Soviet commander in World War II who became a Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1955, served as head of the Soviet Strategic Missile Forces (which had jurisdiction over SS-4 and SS-5 missiles, among others) from April 1962 until March 1963, when he was appointed chief of the Soviet General Staff. Biryuzov died in a plane crash near Belgrade in October 1964, just five days after Nikita Khrushchev was removed from office in Moscow. The reference here in Malin’s notes is to a secret visit that began roughly a week later (at the end of May) by a high-level Soviet delegation, which included Biryuzov. The delegation was ostensibly headed by Sharaf Rashidov (a candidate member of the CPSU Presidium), but Biryuzov was the one who handled the crucial negotiations with Castro about the missile deployment scheme. The delegation returned to the Soviet Union on 8 June 1962.

Protocol 32 gives hint to the consternation Khrushchev faced to have his plan of missiles placed in Cuba approved. It took two separate meetings and four days for the Presidium to conceded to Khrushchev's plan.

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RGANI, F. 3, Op. 16, D. 947, Ll. 15-16. Translated and edited by Mark Kramer, with assistance from Timothy Naftali.


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