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More dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis

JFK signing the order to blockade Cuba, 1962

Sixty years ago, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev moved nuclear warheads to Cuba, some of the most perilous weeks in world history ensued. But there are two reasons why the situation with Russia today is “even more dangerous”, says Max Hastings on the BBC’s Jeremy Vine Show.

The first is that “shooting has already started”. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, a single American spy plane was downed over the island; now, thousands of fighters are dying daily in Ukraine. The second is that Vladimir Putin is a “less stable figure” than Khrushchev. Under the communist system, the latter was “answerable to a presidium in the Kremlin”, meaning he had to justify his actions to other bigwigs or risk being ousted. “As far as we know, Putin is answerable to nobody.”