Is the Washington-Moscow hotline still operational?

Is the Washington-Moscow hotline still operational
Is the Washington-Moscow hotline still operational

Is the Washington-Moscow hotline still operational? The world’s two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, launched a hotline 60 years ago to communicate directly between themselves in times of crisis. Using that line, Washington sent a message to Moscow on August 30, 1963. The first test sentence was like this—’The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog 1234567890′. However, this message was irrelevant. However, all English letters and numbers were used in the sentence. But currently, not much is known about whether the two parties communicate on the hotline, or through some other means.

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In 1962, the former Soviet Union deployed nuclear missiles to Cuba. The distance from there to USA is only 180 km. The United States feels threatened by this. Then, when a US airliner was shot down, US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev feared the start of World War III. But at the last minute, the Soviet leader announced on Radio Moscow that nuclear weapons would be removed from Cuba. The whole world was relieved at this announcement.

Is the Washington-Moscow hotline still operational?

After this incident, both sides started thinking about direct communication as part of building trust between themselves. Later on 30 August 1963 a hotline was launched.

Is the Washington-Moscow hotline still operational?

Although this hotline was known as ‘Red Telephone’, it was not actually a telephone. It was a telex machine that could send messages. The wire of this hotline went under the Atlantic and Europe. Both sides checked it every hour.
Russian linguist Howard Patrick said in a 2014 interview with the Pioneer Press in Minnesota that he first helped operate the device. The line was maintained by the Pentagon on behalf of the United States. They often sent baseball scores as messages, which had no real meaning. The Kremlin, on the other hand, sent some quotations from Russian classic literature.

The linguist said the actual message that came through using the hotline was a shocker. An official message was sent from the United States to the then Soviet Union that Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.

 

Avoiding misunderstandings of the Middle East
The hotline was first used in 1967 to avoid the Six Day War between Israel and Arab countries in the Middle East. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, leaders contacted the hotline.

Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin sent an early morning message to US President Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon woke up to that message. After explaining the contents of the message to him in detail, he went back to sleep. The message stated that Israel was attacking its Arab neighbors.
Related US officials said that 19 messages were exchanged between the presidents of the two countries during this war.

The actual message that came through using the hotline was quite a shock. An official message was sent from the United States to the then Soviet Union that Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.

Related US officials said that 19 messages were exchanged between the presidents of the two countries during the Arab-Israeli war.

The most important exchange of messages occurred when Israel attacked the US surveillance ship USS Liberty. 30 passengers of the ship were killed. This was later termed as an accident. After this incident, the US forces fled. Then Johnson assured Russian Prime Minister Kosygin that Israel’s target in the Mediterranean is not Russia.

In response, Kosygin sent a return message calling for an “immediate end” to the conflict and asking Johnson to put pressure on Israel.

President Johnson preferred hotline communication with Moscow. In Washington it is known as Molink. Johnson used to send updates about the Apollo space missions.

Nixon’s intervention
This hotline came in handy during another Israeli-Arab war…but in a very different situation…in 1973.

Egypt and Syria launched ambushes in Israeli-occupied territories during the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. But Israel quickly overcame the initial setbacks against those two Soviet allies.

Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev proposed to U.S. President Richard Nixon that both superpowers send troops to the region…but U.S. officials thought it would be disastrous…and then sent a message to the hotline that Moscow was considering sending troops on its own, but Nixon did not respond.

Nixon’s aides believe that Nixon was under pressure to close the Watergate scandal investigation into the so-called Saturday Nine massacre and the resignation of his vice president, Spiro Agnew, over corruption charges. He was quite drunk that day. Later it was found that the vice president had no connection with that corruption.

Nixon’s aides, led by Henry Kissinger, took charge of increasing the readiness of US forces. Kissinger then coldly sent a message to Brezhnev.

As warned
This hotline is not only used to avoid tensions, but sometimes it is also used to issue warnings.
In 1979, Jimmy Carter sent a message to Brezhnev condemning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Where the US started funding Islamic guerillas in a short period of time.

The following year, Jimmy again warned the Soviet Union that if the Soviet Union

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