243. Message From Premier Kosygin to President Johnson1

Dear Mr. President:

The events of the last days have forced me to express to you with all frankness our view. As the situation shows, the resolutions of the Security Council are invalid. Israel has completely ignored them. As you can understand, after the many attempts taken in this direction and the resolutions of the Security Council concerning the termination of aggression on the part of Israel in the Near East—these attempts have proved ineffective.

A very crucial moment has now arrived which forces us, if military actions are not stopped in the next few hours, to adopt an independent decision. We are ready to do this. However, these actions may bring us into a clash, which will lead to a grave catastrophe. Obviously in the world there are powers to whom this would be advantageous.

We propose that you demand from Israel that it unconditionally cease military action in the next few hours. On our part, we will do the same. We purpose to warn Israel that, if this is not fulfilled, necessary actions will be taken, including military.

Please give me your views.

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,” with a typed notation indicating a sight translation was made at 9 a.m. and it was received by the President at 9:05 a.m. A typed notation on a copy of the message in Russian states it was transmitted by Soviet Molink at 8:48 a.m. and received by U.S. Molink at 8:52 a.m. (Ibid.)