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Soviet Defense Minister Threatens U.S.

Feb. 22, 1963 - Soviet Defense Minister Rodion Y. Malinovsky threated the U.S. today with nuclear devastation should it attack Cuba. “We would like to warn the aggressive circles of the U.S. that an attack on the Cuban republic would mean a third world war,” the 64-year-old marshal declared. If an attack on Cuba is made, he continued, “the Soviet Union will be in the first ranks of those who will come to its assistance.” In a bristling address delivered in matter-of-fact tones, Malinovsky declared: “We once again firmly remind the Western leaders that the Soviet Union cannot be intimidated. The might of our retaliatory blow will be more than enough to make the aggressors burn in the very first hours of war.” Malinovsky ended by declaring that a war started by the West “will be the last war” and “the entire system of capitalism will be buried once and for all.” Seated just behind him as he addressed an audience of 6,000 in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses was Premier Nikita Khrushchev, originator of the threat to bury capitalism. Khrushchev did not address the assemblage, which included diplomats and military attachés of East and West stationed in Moscow.

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