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The Russians have shown an unexpected willingness to adapt to changing circumstances within their policy for dealing with real or alleged overflights of their territory. Their extreme sensitivity to trivial, or even fancied, intrusions upon their secrecy is well known, and Western representatives and travelers have long been conditioned to the harsh security measures instituted by Soviet authorities to maintain the Iron Curtain and to restrict opportunities for surveillance behind it. The Russians have always subjected other powers to vitriolic accusations of intent (whether justified or not) to penetrate the Iron Curtain by radio and other means. Thus it is surprising to find that over the years the Soviet leaders have not always employed force against intruding foreign planes; rather have they, in each case, tailored their reaction to conform with their overall policy for dealing with the foreign power in question. Accordingly, they have chosen a variety of means — violence, diplomatic protest, or propaganda — to discourage foreign planes from approaching or overflying Soviet territory.

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