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, Karibskij krizis), or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day (October 16–28, 1962) confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning American ballistic missile deployment in Italy and Turkey with consequent Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba.
The confrontation is often considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.
When all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 21, 1962. The Kennedy administration had been publicly embarrassed by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in April, 1961, which had been launched under President John F. Afterward, former President Dwight Eisenhower told Kennedy that "the failure of the Bay of Pigs will embolden the Soviets to do something that they would otherwise not do." The half-hearted invasion left Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and his advisers with the impression that Kennedy was indecisive and, as one Soviet adviser wrote, "too young, intellectual, not prepared well for decision making in crisis situations...
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When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, one of his key election issues was an alleged "missile gap" with the Soviets leading.
In fact, the US led the Soviets by a wide margin that would only increase.
The US established a military blockade to prevent further missiles from reaching Cuba; Oval Office tapes during the crisis revealed that Kennedy had also put the blockade in place as an attempt to provoke Soviet-backed forces in Berlin as well.