216. Message From Premier Kosygin to President Johnson 1

Dear Mr. President,

Your telegram concerning the incident with the American Liberty Type Ship torpedoed near Port Said has been received by us and immediately transmitted for information to President Nasser.2


A. Kosygin
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Head of State Correspondence, USSR, Washington-Moscow “Hot-Line” Exchange, 6/5–10/67. No classification marking. The message is labeled “Translation.” A typed notation indicates a sight translation was made at 12:25 p.m.; the message was received by the President at 12:30 p.m.; a rough translation was made at 12:34 p.m.; and a final, official translation was provided at 1:15 p.m. A typed notation on a copy of the message in Russian states it was transmitted by Soviet Molink at 12:20 p.m. and received by U.S. Molink at 12:23 p.m. (Ibid.) Rostow forwarded the message to the President in a 12:45 p.m. memorandum, commenting that this exchange of messages was “one reason the link was created: to avoid misinterpretation of military moves and incidents during an intense crisis.” (Ibid., Memos to the President, Walt Rostow, Vol. 30) For Ambassador Thompson’s comments, see Document 245.
  2. Kohler telephoned Chernyakov at 12:45 p.m. to tell him of the exchange of hot line messages and to thank him for his cooperation. He also noted that Kosygin had described the vessel as a “Liberty-type ship,” but that in fact, U.S.S Liberty was the name of the ship. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR)