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  1. I met a whole bunch of them. After the war in Kosovo, one of my friends started working as the senior economic advisor for the United Nations administration. His boss was a Russian national from New York. The Russian was a really cool guy and we were soon all friends with him.

    As it turned out, “our” Russian liked to party a lot. He had rented a nice penthouse apartment in the capital and was organizing at least one party a week. Everyone was invited and he always said: “I don’t care who you are or what you are, come to my place and have fun!”

    So we went there: my buddy, two or three of his coworkers and me. His apartment was on the roof of one of the few buildings where still some Serbs were living and I remember that more than once, the remaining Serbs had some trouble with the rest of the population. Either their flat was burglarized or someone had burned their car.

    Of course, there were always a lot of Russians at the parties, not only from the United Nations or other International Organizations but also some guys from the Russian military and Intelligence people.

    While the military guys were all quite cool and usually drunk after a few rounds of Vodka, (I remember a night when I was drinking with the commander of the Russian KFOR contingent) the Russian spies were rather boring types. Unlike their American, British or French counterparts (those were around, too), the Russian guys never drank and never talked much, at least not with us.

    I remember especially one of them who was very tall, had a mustache like in some WWI movie. Andrej, so his name, always carried his gun with him in a small black leather bag. I thought that this was rather unprofessional. I never took my gun with me when I went to a party which was probably a good idea.

    When the parties were over, I used to take some of the Serb guests with me in my car and drove them to their homes in other parts of the city. They were safer with me.

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