Though the standard of living is high and the beer is good, the Putins find East Germany a backward place. The country seems stuck in a totalitarian state that Russia left three decades before. Putin is shocked by the atmosphere of fear and stagnation. Then the Berlin Wall falls and chaos breaks out. Mobs ransack the Stasi headquarters. They surround the KGB offices. Panicked, Putin calls for military backup, but receives this ominous answer, "Moscow is silent." He suddenly feels as though everything is falling apart, as though the Soviet Union has simply disappeared.