The 1991 Gulf crisis occurred during a period marked by drastic changes in international relations especially within the Soviet Union. The Soviet performance in Madrid was far from impressive, but the Russian government cannot ignore Moscow's commitment to the peace process. Nationalists and neo Bolsheviks organized mass demonstrations in the center of Moscow on January 9, 1992, the time appealing primarily to socially insecure strata of the society. Anti-Communist Russian nationalists sided with the most ardent Communists. The cessation of the East-West confrontation and the new level of Soviet-American understanding that followed made the world more secure and opened the door for mutually advantageous international cooperation in various areas. Whatever their interests are, and however much they may differ from the interests of the former Soviet Union, the republics possess comparatively limited means to support any desired international status.