The road below was lined with tanks rolling out. Troops flooded the streets. The roof started shaking.

The third of October 1993 was a beautiful day in Moscow. The sky was blue, the streets were busy and the air was chilly. I was a US paralegal living my best 23-year-old life, with a head full of dreams and a job at an international law firm.

I grew up in New Jersey, then rural Pennsylvania. At university I did politics and Russian studies, and took a class in US and Soviet relations. I was fascinated by these two countries at odds.

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