Recently we have had our Class reunion (Physics Department of the renown St. Petersburg University, Russia). Amidst all the warm greetings, embraces, and gasps of surprise at the view of receding hair, bulging waistlines and other signs of relentlessly encroaching middle age we swapped the tales and had come to a rather unsurprising conclusion: if you are still in science, it means you are working abroad, if you are still in Russia, it means you are not in science. Indeed, in the wake of rapid changes that swept over the former Soviet Union following its disintegration in 1991 millions of people who formerly had positions in the vast scientific and technical establishment have found themselves adrift without any conceivable means of support. Many have been forced to abandon science for good and to seek opportunities in the burgeoning private sector and quite a few have achieved spectacular successes in their new business endeavors. Their names are well known and their future appears to be bright. This article though is not about them. It is about those stubborn individuals who despite overwhelming odds have kept their faith and commitment to science, who went on and persevered. It is a tribute to those who remained fully engaged in research and upheld the traditions of Russian school, who have faced and overcome all the innumerable obstacles such as delays in salary payment, aging physical plant, accident-prone electrical, water and heating systems, dearth of funding, etc. It now seems, that thanks to the selfless effort of these remarkable individuals Russian science is finally turning the corner and that things are indeed getting better. This article is homage to all the scientists in the FSU whose inquisitive minds and boundless thirst for knowledge have preserved and strengthened the glorious traditions of Russian science through all these years of troubles.