By Max Holland
The story of how the Soviet Union was maneuvered into releasing normally privileged information about Lee Harvey Oswald to the US government is a little-known but important insight into the tense aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination.
The person most responsible for persuading the Kremlin to relax its usual strictures was Moscow’s own ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin. By doing so, Dobrynin defused a highly charged situation, just one year after the missile crisis. Oswald had lived in the Soviet Union for more than two years prior to the assassination, and had recently expressed a desire to return. This episode also revealed why Dobrynin would become such a durable and invaluable presence in the American capital, lasting through six administrations.
This article was originally published in the Cold War International History Project ’s Bulletin, Winter 2003/Spring 2004 issue. Click here to read the entire article.
Postscript: In 2006, a Moscow television station was reportedly preparing the first-ever Russian documentary about Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina.