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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Journal of Cold War Studies (2005) 8 (1): 3–19.
Published: 01 January 2005
AbstractView article PDF
The Soviet Union's transfer of false information to Egypt about alleged Israeli troop concentrations facing Syria in May 1967 is still considered a major factor in the outbreak of the June 1967 Mideast War. Soviet motivations and expectations, however, remain a topic of dispute. New information has become available over the past fifteen years, primarily through interviews and memoirs but also through the release of some important Soviet documents, including correspondence and reports of meetings between Soviet and Egyptian of ficials at the highest levels. A careful analysis of the circumstances and events during the period immediately before the 1967 war substantiates the conclusion that the Soviet Union did not initially expect or want war to break out between Israel and the Arabs. Soviet leaders made efforts to moderate Egyptian actions and considered at least one proposal for averting war. By the first week of June, as Egypt and Syria mobilized for an attack on Israel, the Soviet Union apparently expected an Israeli preemptive strike. Soviet actions during and immediately after the war indicated an interest in reducing the risks of the con flict, even in cooperation with the United States, although Soviet leaders seem to have held differing views about this matter.