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Protest Note from Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai Bulganin to David Ben-Gurion in the wake of the Sinai Campaign, informing him of the official closure of the Soviet Embassy in Israel
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November 5 1956
The Bulganin letter From the time of the outbreak of the Sinai Campaign on October 29, 1956 till November 4, the Soviet Union did not intervene to stop the hostilities. The Soviets tabled a ceasefire resolution in the United Nations Security Council on October 30, but the resolution was vetoed by Great Britain and France, Israel's partners in the attack on Egypt. The USSR was preoccupied at the time with fighting the uprising against Communist rule in Hungary. Only after the successful suppression of the uprising and the Soviet army's takeover of Budapest on November 4 did the USSR begin to pay attention to the crisis in the Middle East. The Soviets then quickly dispatched threatening letters to Great Britain, France, and Israel. Among these was the letter on display here, in which the Soviet Union threatens to use force if the invading armies refuse to heed the General Assembly's resolutions calling for a ceasefire and withdrawal. In a warning to the three countries, the Soviets hinted that if necessary, the use of strategic missiles would be considered. This warning aroused panic in Western capitals and led to unprecedented pressure on Israel to end the crisis. At the same time, the USSR sent a letter to US President Dwight Eisenhower suggesting that the two powers cooperate in ending the crisis, and resort to military force if necessary. At a meeting of the UN Security Council on the night between the 5th and 6th of November, the Soviets proposed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of all invading forces within 12 hours. The resolution included an offer whereby the United States and the Soviet Union would provide assistance to Egypt in the form of volunteers, weaponry, and other military means. This Soviet initiative was opposed and foiled by most of the members of the Security Council. In the official letter sent by Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin to David Ben-Gurion, harsh condemnation was expressed vis-a-vis "the aggressive acts of Israel, along with Great Britain and France, against Egypt." The message included a threat that Israeli actions were putting Israel's own survival at risk. The letter also gave notice of the official closure of the USSR's embassy in Israel and the recalling of Soviet Ambassador Aleksandr Abramov.
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National State Archives, תת-1/31
 
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