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Moscow–Washington hotline

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Categories : Cold War, Government

More commonly known as the “red telephone”, the Moscow–Washington hotline is a direct line of communication between the United States and the Soviet Union (now Russia) developed during the Cold War. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the two sides found that their communication system was far from efficient; it took White House officials almost 12 hours to decode Nikita Khruschev’s initial settlement proposal. After the United States had decided on a reply, a different message had arrived that was far more demanding and insinuated that Khruschev may have been overthrown and was no longer “calling the shots” for the Soviet Union. It was clear that faster communication measures were necessary for the two sides to avoid such delays in the future. The red telephone was first used in 1967 during the Six Day War and has been upgraded multiple times since.

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