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Khrushchev Talks Tough

July 5, 1962 - Premier Khrushchev said today that the Soviet Union had no alternative but “to strengthen in every way” the power of its armed forces in the absence of a disarmament treaty. Addressing military academy graduates at a Kremlin reception, the Soviet leader accused the Western nations of “stepping up the arms race and preparing their armed forces for war,” against the Communist bloc. Alluding to the possibility of a surprise attack that might knock out the Soviet Union’s capability to retaliate, Mr. Khrushchev said: “We shall not let anyone catch us unawares. As for the hopes of the imperialists to get off with impunity, we have said and we say again: If they start a war, they shall meet with a shattering retaliation.”


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