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The Cuban Missile Crisis – known as the October Crisis in Cuba and the Caribbean Crisis (Russian: Kарибский кризис) in the USSR – was a thirteen-day confrontation between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the United States on the other; the crisis occurred in October 1962, during the Cold War.

In August 1962, after some unsuccessful operations by the US to overthrow the Cuban regime (Bay of Pigs, Operation Mongoose), the Cuban and Soviet governments secretly began to build bases in Cuba for a number of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles (MRBMs and IRBMs) with the ability to strike most of the continental United States.

This action followed the 1958 deployment of Thor IRBMs in the UK (Project Emily) and Jupiter IRBMs to Italy and Turkey in 1961 – more than 100 US-built missiles having the capability to strike Moscow with nuclear warheads. On October 14, 1962, a United States Air Force U-2 plane on a photoreconnaissance mission captured photographic proof of Soviet missile bases under construction in Cuba.

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