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In the days of Czarist Russia, it is love at first sight when Peter, a prince in the Czarist regime and an officer in the Cossack army, sees Lydia, a cabaret singer. Realizing that Lydia, whose brother and father are leaders of the revolutionary movement, would never fraternize with a member of the aristocracy, Peter disguises himself as a student and the two fall in love. Their romance is shattered when Lydia discovers Peter's true identity as he leads his Cossacks into the public square to break up a demonstration and her brother Dimitri is killed in the scuffle. Soon after, the war with Germany begins, and Lydia and Peter are separated as Peter goes off to fight in the trenches. When the war finally ends, members of the Russian aristocracy emigrate to Paris, where they find work as taxi drivers and doormen. Peter's friend Nicki opens a Paris version of the Cafe Balalaika, where the emigres congregate to reminisce. It is at the cafe that on New Year's Eve Peter and Lydia meet again and, mellowed by the trauma of war and revolution, agree to reconcile.