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The Cuban Missile Crisis was a 13-day confrontation between the Soviet Union (the then USSR) and the United States. It is generally regarded as the most serious incident of the Cold War, when the communist East and the democratic West came closer than ever to a mutual nuclear destruction. The crisis emerged on October 14, 1962, when a U.S. Air Force–operated U-2 aircraft produced detailed aerial photographs of Soviet ballistic nuclear missiles installations being constructed in Cuba, and ended on October 28, when the United States and the USSR reached an agreement consisting of concessions on both parts. The U-2 aircraft surveillance missions provided critical information to the U.S. administration in assessing the escalating situation. This entry reviews the actions leading up to the Cuban ...

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