Russia newspaper backtracks on Cuba nuclear weapons report

The flap over the possibility of Russian nuclear bombers deploying to Cuba appears to be over.

It ended the way it began: with an article in the leading Russian newspaper Izvestia, said to be close to influential circles in Moscow.

An editorial the newspaper published late last week acknowledged the editors had been ''misinformed'' about the potential deployment in Cuba of Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers.

The editorial appeared after a Russian defense ministry spokesman branded the original July 21 report in Izvestia a "media hoax.''

That report sparked a flurry of speculation about whether the White House and the Kremlin were headed for a new Cold War-style showdown similar to the one in 1962.

Unlike 46 years ago when the October Missile Crisis unfolded after the Kennedy administration discovered real ballistic missiles in Cuba, the latest event was always just a rumor.

And one that Washington and Moscow desperately tried to stanch.

Titled 'Who 'misinformed' our newsroom and why,'' the Izvestia editorial said the tip came from ``a person of our own flesh and blood, someone whom there is no reason not to trust.''

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