The 1960 U-2 incident occurred during the Cold War on 1 May 1960, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the premiership of Nikita Khrushchev, when a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down while in Soviet airspace. The aircraft, flown by Central Intelligence Agency pilot Francis Gary Powers, was performing photographic aerial reconnaissance when it was hit by an S-75 Dvina (SA-2 Guideline) surface-to-air missile and crashed in Sverdlovsk. Powers parachuted safely and was captured.
Initially the United States government tried to cover up the plane's purpose and mission, but was forced to admit its military nature when the Soviet government came forward with the captured pilot and remains of the U-2 including spying technology that had survived the crash as well as photos of military bases in Russia taken by the aircraft. Coming roughly two weeks before the scheduled opening of an east–west summit in Paris, the incident was a great embarrassment to the United States and prompted a marked deterioration in its relations with the Soviet Union. Powers was convicted of espionage and sentenced to three years of imprisonment plus seven years of hard labor but would be released two years later on 10 February 1962 during a prisoner exchange for Soviet officer Rudolf Abel.
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