Two Ministry of Internal Affairs juniors struggle to suppress mirth in their snowmen costumes, while their boss attempts to explain to Putin exactly why he has chosen an official Day of Military Honour for the office Christmas party.
Finland’s president Tarja Halonen realises too late that the drinks to celebrate the opening of the new high-speed link between Helsinki and St Petersburg have been loaded with truth serum and MDMA.
Those FIFA negotiations in full: “You see this switch, Sepp? One turn, and I can have 367 warheads targeted on Zurich within ten minutes. I don’t think I really need to bother flying out for the announcement, do you? See you in 2018.”
The Wikileaks briefing was going to plan; President Medvedev had accepted that the charge of being ‘pale and hesitant’ had some validity. But as his prime minister gleefully recounted the ‘Batman and Robin’ jibe, and their respective positions in said relationship, Dmitry tearfully began to remember the carefree days of his childhood in Leningrad.
Before the president even gave his verdict on their cook-off, the flower team had begun to imagine the bleak steppes of West Siberia which would soon be their home.
“Hang on, they called me ‘Alpha-dog’! Nice.”
(Julian Assange will never realise how close he came to a polonium enema.)
At the highest diplomatic levels, the journey from a late-night coffee to the bedroom can be protracted - in this case, eleven pots and five hours of bilateral negotiation.
A classic eyeballing from a 2009 energy dispute. Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borissov is startled into silence as images climb unbidden into his consciousness: an icy wasteland, bodies in pits, and a suddenly cut-off scream in the darkness.
Vladikavkaz, 2008 – there is talk of war in South Ossetia, but most of all no one wants to admit who forgot the chocolate biscuits.
“Dignity, Dmitry,” muttered the newly installed Russian president, as his predecessor reeled off a series of bawdy jokes at the expense of his new ‘boss’.