It was an extraordinary split-screen moment.
On one side president Donald Trump meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle and strolling past a ceremonial guard of red-uniformed beefeaters.
On the other the US deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was simultaneously indicting 12 Russian spies for hacking and leaking the emails of senior Democrats during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
These latest indictments by the special prosecutor Robert Mueller were carefully crafted.
Its timing seems distinctly mischievous.
And it heaps pressure on Trump ahead of his meeting on Monday in Helsinki with the Russian president Vladimir Putin – the man to whom the GRU intelligence agency and its generals ultimately answer.
For two years Trump has equivocated in the face of a simple question: did Moscow hack the US election in order to help him become president and to damage Hillary Clinton?
Despite evidence from US intelligence agencies he has variously blamed a ‘400-pound guy’ sitting on a bed – suggested the answer is vaguely unknowable – and said he could not be sure if it was Russia or China.
But Mueller’s latest indictments lay out the facts in granular detail.
The document describes how a group of career Russian spies working out of an anonymous classical building in central Moscow systematically hacked into the Democratic National Committee.
It was a textbook deception operation – featuring fake persons – hidden cryptocurrency payments and easy-to-do spear phishing.