In 1966, if the CIA listening post at Badaber (outside Peshawar in northern Pakistan), had the technology to listen in to telephone conversations or if Lt. Chuck Shriver, the man who was monitoring Soviet radio traffic that night had been listening in, he would have heard a cryptic conversation that lasted just ten seconds. It was an exchange that traveled between the Kremlin and the heavily guarded Massandra Palace outside Yalta, in Crimea, the winter retreat of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
“My poluchili ne togo cheloveka (we got the wrong guy),” the voice from Kremlin said.
“Ne meshay mne, 1 utra v otpuske (Shit happens. Don’t bother me, I am on vacation),” the gruff voice at the other end replied and hung up as his bushy eyebrows arched up in a grimace.
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