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Why the death of US President John F. Kennedy became a problem for the USSR
Why the death of US President John F. Kennedy became a problem for the USSR

In the fall of 1959, a scandalous report appeared on the front page of the American Associated Press about the flight to the USSR of the Marine Corpsman Lee Harvey Oswald. Four years later, this name was full of all the headlines of newspaper editorials in the world: its owner was accused of the loudest crime of the century - the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The Americans noticed a connection between these two events, initially not taking into account that the USSR received only problems from the death of Kennedy, without any political benefit.

How did the version that the assassination of Kennedy was connected with the USSR emerged?

For the Soviet Union, John F. Kennedy was a hope, but after his death he became a problem

The news that the President of the United States has been assassinated came as a real shock to the whole world. The USSR was no exception, including its leader. However, according to the testimony of those in the know, Nikita Khrushchev's first reaction to the news of Kennedy's death was the question: "Do we have anything to do with this?"

The first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, not without reason, expressed concern. The killer of the American President Lee Oswald had too close ties with the Soviet Union - at one time he lived and worked in the country and even married a Belarusian girl. Such circumstances could become a reason for accusing the USSR of involvement in what happened, and therefore the American side did not miss the opportunity to consider a promising version for them.

What connected Lee Harvey Oswald with the USSR

Oswald with colleagues at work (at the plant in Minsk)

Lee Harvey Oswald arrived in the Soviet Union in October 1959, just before his twentieth birthday (he was born on October 18, 1939). The trip was not spontaneous - the young man carefully planned it, having first received a student visa to a foreign university. Arriving from America to France, he moved to England, and then to Finland, from where, having issued a Soviet visa, he went by train to Moscow.

Arriving in the capital of the USSR, Oswald first of all began to seek to obtain Soviet citizenship. After refusal on October 21, he attempted suicide in a hotel room and was sent to the psychiatric ward of the Botkin Hospital. However, Lee Harvey was not detained there for a long time - already on October 31, he visited the American embassy with the aim of officially renouncing his country's citizenship. This attempt was also unsuccessful, while Oswald did not undertake others, since he soon plunged into a new, seemingly attractive life.

To keep the American who had fallen on his head, Moscow sent him to Minsk, providing him with the place of a turner at the “Minsk Radio Plant im. V. I. Lenin ". Together with an increased salary - about 700 rubles a month - Oswald became the owner of a furnished one-room apartment, which, however, without the knowledge of the owner, was constantly monitored.

The change of scenery, like the diversity of life, initially captured Lee Harvey, but after the new 1961 he was fed up with everyday life and bored. “I have no desire to stay,” Oswald wrote in his diary. - The work is uninteresting, there are no bowling alleys and nightclubs, there is nowhere to spend money, there are no places to rest - only trade union dances. I think I've had enough."

In March 1961, the future assassin of the president met Marina Prusakova, a 19-year-old student of the pharmacology department, and two months later he registered a marriage with her. At the beginning of the summer of 1961, the newlyweds expressed a desire to return to their homeland: however, due to bureaucratic delays, he was able to leave for the United States with his family only a year later - at the end of the spring of 1963.

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested an hour and twenty minutes after Kennedy's assassination

The assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas at 12:30 pm local time. According to the conclusions of the Warren Commission, Oswald fired three shots into the car of the President of the United States from the sixth floor of the book warehouse. He had no accomplices - he acted alone. At the same time, Lee Harvey Oswald was not an agent of the USSR. On the path of crime, according to Soviet biographers, Oswald was pushed by a thirst for fame, but most Americans are still convinced that he was the instrument of a conspiracy.

Why the assassination of John F. Kennedy became a problem for the USSR

Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy at the Vienna Summit on June 4, 1961

After the announcement of the murder, the leadership of the USSR State Security Committee held a number of emergency meetings. They discussed options for events after problems that could arise due to the sudden death of the US President.

John F. Kennedy came to power in 1960 and immediately set a course for rapprochement with the Soviet Union. Thanks to this attitude, potential adversaries have a chance to end the "cold" conflict, which every year aggravated the senseless confrontation. Speaking in May 1963 about the relationship between America and the USSR, John F. Kennedy said: “In the end, our most important unifying feature is living together on one, such a small planet. We value our children equally, we breathe the same air, and we are mortal - all without exception."

Kennedy even suggested organizing a joint flight to the moon in order to make the first landing on its surface together. The idea was rejected by Khrushchev, whose thinking did not allow such a rapid rapprochement with the capitalist country, and even the main rival of the Union.

And so, when the president with a predictable and understandable policy was killed, a situation arose that could be used by supporters of anti-Soviet radicalism. Archival documents state that Moscow at that time was experiencing "shock confusion": "The Kremlin authorities were worried about the possibility of a missile attack on the Soviet Union, which some aggressive-minded general's rank would launch."

How bells rang in the USSR in memory of Kennedy

Soviet press about the assassination of J. Kennedy

The news of the tragic death of Kennedy spread throughout the world instantly: in the morning the whole USSR knew about them. "Nice, young, charming, plus striving for peace with our country" - this is the image of the American president formed among the majority of Soviet people. For this reason, the Soviet Union sincerely sympathized with Kennedy, and after the news of the murder, many ordinary citizens did not hold back their tears, heartily mourning the death of the leader of a foreign state.

Later, representatives of American intelligence in Russia recalled that in honor of the memory of John F. Kennedy, church bells were ringing in the country. In addition, on the day after the murder, his photographic portrait was posted on the entire front page of the Nedelya newspaper. In those years, this format was allowed to be used only in relation to members of the top leadership of the USSR. However, the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU gave the go-ahead in this case, thereby expressing its grief. Nikita Khrushchev's son, Sergei, recalled that his father also cried for the murdered man - falling to his knees, he sobbed loudly without hesitation. And yet, despite the practically nationwide mourning, Kennedy's death caused the Soviet leadership a lot of problems because of the uncertainty of the future.

By the way, many descendants of the Kennedy family were also famous. Although their life has developed differently, but now they can be called worthy people - this is what the generation of the Kennedy dynasty looks like today.

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