‘A Real War Will Begin, in which Millions of Americans and Russians Will Die’ - 14 October, 2002 - News

40 years ago, the world was closer to a nuclear war than anyone ever imagined

A closed conference is currently being held in Havana. The conference is devoted to one of the most important events of the 20th century: the Caribbean crisis. This discussion is already the sixth, as the talks have been held since 1987. However, the current conference is of special importance. It’s been 40 years since the events that nearly caused a nuclear war between the USSR and the USA.

The crisis broke out after American spy planes found Soviet missiles in Cuba. Moscow took that risk as a response: American nukes had been stockpiled in Turkey and in Italy. The USA launched the blockade of the island.

The conference exposed some of secret documents from those years. One of them was about the meeting between Nikita Khrushchev’s son-in-law Aleksey Adzhubei and American President John Kennedy. The meeting took place in 1962. However, the mentioned document was exposed exclusively for the participants of the conference.

Associated Press informed that one could come to the conclusion that the world was a lot closer to a nuclear war than it was generally believed. USSR ambassador to the USA Anatoly Dobrynin wrote in his memoirs that US Attorney General Robert Kennedy said a very frightening thing on October 27, 1962. Robert Kennedy said: “A real war will begin in which millions of Americans and Russians will die.” After an American plane was downed over Cuba, Robert Kennedy warned: “The situation may get out of control, with irreversible consequences."

The same day, on October 27, 1963, Kennedy's military advisors recommended that the America strike Cuba and to start and invade the island.

It is interesting that Nikita Khrushchev sent a letter to John Kennedy the day before. In the letter, Khrushchev agreed upon the removal of missiles from Cuba in return for the withdrawal of American missiles from Turkey. Kennedy rejected the offer. However, the removal of Soviet missiles started on October 28. The USA decided not to attack Cuba in return. Washington assured Moscow confidentially that American missiles in Turkey and Cuba would also be removed.

This made it possible to avoid a nuclear war, which might have destroyed not only the USSR and the USA, but the whole world as well. However, the consequences of the Caribbean crisis were seen for many years after this event.

On the photo: Nikita Khrushchev and John Kennedy

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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