Moscow, Russia, December 1992. There was a diplomatic reception held at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. It was a major diplomatic event of the year, and all the foreign ambassadors and consuls were present. Despite the economic hardships and the collapse of the Soviet Union just over a year before, the reception was grand. Appearances meant everything to the Russians, and no expense was spared for the occasion – beautifully decorated tables were filled with the Russian delicatessens and waiters walked around with trays offering the best champagne and caviar.