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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June 30, 1962

    Record of Romanian Workers Party Politburo Discussion, 26 June 1963, re Nikita Khrushchev Visit to Romania

    Shorthand record of the meeting of the Political Bureau of C.C. of R.W.P. (26 June 1963), after the visit of Nikita Khrushchev in Romania (24-25 June 1963).

  • July 01, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol No. 39

    Protocol 39 gives some evidence that Khrushchev was thinking about more than just Cuba. Khrushchev discussed the importance of getting the US to stop flying over the ships heading to Cuba. After discussing the timetable for sending the missiles to Cuba, Khrushchev led his colleagues in a re-examination of the Soviet Union’s policy on West Berlin. Berlin had not been a topic of discussion for months.

  • July 12, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 41

    Protocol 41 details a meeting on a group of economic advisers sent to Cuba from the Soviet Union.

  • August 27, 1962

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A report by Hungarian Ambassador József Kovács on his meeting with Soviet Ambassador Moskovsky in which the two discussed the state of Soviet-North Korean relations.

  • August 28, 1962

    Conversation of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev and acting United Nations Secretary General U Thant, 28 August 1962

    Khrushchev and Thant discuss the possibility of a visit by Khrushchev to the UN General Assembly. Khrushchev says a visit is not likely until the Americans, French, British and Germans are ready to negotiate a solution to the Berlin question. Khrushchev outlines the Soviet position and says that the Soviet Union will sign a unilateral peace treaty with the GDR if their conditions are not met. He says that the SU would agree to UN intervention and to a multilateral peace treaty, which would avert international conflict and war. Khrushchev suggests that the UN headquarters be transferred to West Germany due to high costs and discrimination in New York. He identifies additional issues for discussion: the admittance of the People's Republic of China into the UN, the Taiwan-China issue, and disarmament. Thant and Khrushchev discuss the obstacles to resolution of the German question, including public opinion in America. They also discuss American dominance in the UN Secretariat, free trade, and the Common Market, among other topics.

  • October 05, 1962

    Handwritten Note for the Record by Colonel General S.P. Ivanov

    Ivanov takes notes on a conversation with Khrushchev regarding the progress of weapons en route to Cuba.

  • October 11, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 58

    Protocol 58 provides insight into what was occupying the mind of Khrushchev at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The theme of the meeting was centered around the Sino-Indian conflict, questions surrounding the McMahon line, and the future of Tibet. With the focus on China and India, it is reasonable to assume that the crisis caught Khrushchev by surprise.

  • October 14, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 59

    Protocol 59 further details the focus of the Soviet Union just before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khrushchev was so confident that his plan with Cuba would go unhindered that he spent his efforts on resolving the Sino-Indian border conflict, thinking the matter with missiles was done.

  • October 23, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 60

    Protocol 60 details the first meeting of the Communist Party during the crisis. As Khrushchev is awaiting the announcement by President Kennedy of the discovery of missiles in Cuba, he and some of his colleagues briefly considered using tactical nuclear weapons in the event of a US airborne assault. But, at the suggestion of Soviet defense minister Rodion Malinovsky, the Kremlin postponed its consideration of a nuclear response pending details of Kennedy’s speech.The Kremlin wasted no time in taking steps to reduce the risks of confrontation. It ordered some ships that were still in the Mediterranean to turn around. The Aleksandrovsk, the ship carrying the nuclear warheads for the IRBMs (the R-14s), was ordered to keep sailing, however, because it was close enough to Cuban shores to dock before the blockade went into effect.

  • October 23, 1962

    Report on Romanian Government Delegation Visit to Moscow and Soviet-Romanian Talks, 23 October 1962

    Manescu reports on the discussions of the government delegation of the PRR with the CPSU and Soviet State leaders on 23 October 1962. They discuss mostly relations with Southeast Asian countries.

  • October 24, 1962

    Letter from Khrushchev to John F. Kennedy

    Khrushchev expresses outrage at Kennedy’s establishment of quarantine in Cuba.

  • October 25, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 61

    Protocol 61 indicates Khrushchev was already taking steps away from the crisis unfolding. Khrushchev decided that the ships carrying the IRBM missiles (the R-14s) on the high seas should turn around and come home.

  • October 25, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol No. 61

    In response to President Kennedy's letter protesting the placement of missiles in Cuba, Khrushchev proposes a resolution to the crisis. When the time seemed right he would offer to dismantle the missiles already on the island (the MRBMs or R-12s) if Kennedy pledged not to invade Cuba.

  • October 26, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet delegate to the UN Zorin to USSR Foreign Ministry (2) on the meeting with U Thant on October 26, 1962

    U Thant’s response to Khrushchev’s reply to his previous message. U Thant expresses satisfaction to Khrushchev and Kennedy’s responses to his previous messages.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko to USSR Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev

    A message from Gromyko to Alekseev to relay a message to Castro regarding American invasion.

  • October 27, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to Cuba A.I. Alekseev to USSR Foreign Ministry

    Castro’s response to a Soviet Foreign Ministry telegram regarding the prohibition of special arms and possible US invasion.

  • October 27, 1962

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 62

    Protocol 62 illustrates how it was Khrushchev who raised the stakes during the missile crisis and dictated a new letter to Kennedy indicating he would only remove the missiles from Cuba in exchange of the United States withdrawing its military bases from Turkey and Pakistan. The Pakistan demand would later be dropped, however and the US would only agree to remove its IRBMs from Turkey.

  • October 27, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet delegate to the UN Zorin to USSR Foreign Ministry

    Soviet response to American changes to U Thant’s proposal.

  • October 28, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to the USA Dobrynin to USSR MFA

    Dobrynin’s description of R. Kennedy’s response to Khrushchev’s message

  • October 28, 1962

    Letter from Khrushchev to Fidel Castro

    Khrushchev informed Castro of his deal with J.F.Kennedy. The Soviet leader warned Castro of attempts to sabotage the agreement by men in the Pentagon and urged him to restrain from being provoked, e.g. firing at American planes.