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Kiev Connections - Russian Woman, Women Marriage Agency in Kiev, Ukraine.

Kiev Connections - Russian Woman, Women Marriage Agency in Kiev, Ukraine.

 14th February 2003

     There is nothing more enticing or alluring than the prospect of finding that one true love. Perhaps the only thing better could be true love with a catwalk model. For thousands of forlorn, abandoned, rejected or just fed up with feminism' men in Western Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia, all trails seem to 'lead eastward' as they search for the love of their life. The marriage agency business in Ukraine is booming. It was born shortly the fall of the wall, but received its biggest infusion of life about 7 years ago with the rise in popularity of the Internet.

Ukraine is second after Russia in num­bers of women using the Internet superhighway to find love and romance and, perhaps, a better life. But how many of these women are for real? How many wants love, marriage and a little one in a baby carriage? Surprisingly enough after talking with a cross-section of men recently arrived in Kyiv from Western Europe, the USA and Canada on marriage tours, not as many as you would think are interested in pur­suing marriage. These men, who had been cor­responding with the woman of 'their dreams' for many months, were dismayed to find that once on the ground in Ukraine, a different story was on the verge of ruining their fairytale quest for a Slavic princess. There were three com­plaints this reporter heard from all but two of the men. Number one:

I. The girl said she had second thoughts and didn't want to get married so soon.

2. The girl said she had no plans to leave Ukraine.

3.  The girl 'appeared' interested only in going out and having a good time.

"It was just a bit strange to me," says Curtis, a computer programmer from San Jose California. Curtis had been corresponding with a girl named Svetlana in Kyiv for about 6 months before deciding to take the plunge. "Everything appears o.k. on the surface, but when I want to talk about specifics, plans for the future, she backs off. I mean I am only here for 7 days, I don't have a long time to put things together, it was really kind of frustrating," he says. Curtis also says the passion and heartfelt feelings that were in the emails and letters before his arrival were missing in the face to face contact. "There was something peculiar about our first and second meetings. I didn't get the impression that I was talking to the same girl I had been writing to for a half of a year. She said she didn't want to get married so soon and that she was nervous about relocating to the USA," said Curtis. Those two points are the sticklers. Yes, marriage is a big step, and one should be a little nervous about broaching the subject, but shouldn't that be a consideration before a per­son enlists the services of a marriage agency, not after the guy you have been writing 'sweet noth­ings' to shows up at Boryspil Airport?

The first two points were put to American busi­nessman and longtime Kyiv resident Mr. Brett Ousley, himself President of Kiev Connections. "I am a single guy, and have used agencies in the past, and some of the problems mentioned are what led me to open up my own agency", he says. Brett says many of the plethora of agencies in Ukraine are in the business to collect and sell as many names and addresses as they can. This 'killing the golden goose' mentality in the mar­riage agency business is bad for the legitimate operations who genuinely try to match the appropriate people for a solid relationship. "I remember this one time, years ago, I was on a date with a girl from some agency in town," says Ousley, "and after I pick her up we start walking to this cafe in order to get to know each other better. As we are walking, she nonchalantly blurts out that she can not be out late because her husband will be home in a while". Needless to say, Ousley politely ducked out. "She was amazing, she like said I hope this doesn't pre­clude us going out tonight? I said well, 'what's the point', see ya later," says the disgusted bride hunter.

Ousley says this experience was such a shocker that it has helped form a cornerstone of his operation. Through screening of the applicants, his suspicions were well founded. “What some people don't consider as that this is a 'win win' situation for the ladies," says Ousley. "It costs them nothing. The risk is the man’s. She waits for the agency to call, or she collects the letters, gifts and dates all

for free, while the man uses his one vacation a year, buys a ticket, lodg­ings in Kyiv and lays his heart on the line, so that is why we make sure our girls are on the level," says Ousley. Ousley says that he periodically reviews a girl's status, and that some are reject­ed, or removed from his roster if they are found

to be just in the game for a good time and not serious. Another agency that specializes in per­sonalized matchmaking is the Mordinson Agency of Kharkiv. Mordinson is a premium agency specializing in some of 'the most attrac­tive women in the Kharkiv region', and goes to the trouble of listing it's success stories on the web site, with actual photos of the couples it has produced. "Our girls are all interested in getting married and we go to the trouble of individual­ly tailoring a program for the man who is vis­iting, so he feels special and the process goes smoothly," says representative Darya Mordinson. "We don't conduct these uncom­fortable 'meat-market' socials that some of the bigger agencies conduct," she says of the classic marriage agency meets where ten guys will find themselves facing a room full of up to sixty girls. "The meetings we offer are all individual and only with girls or women who are definitely interested in the man so that disappointment is who have dealt with the mass marketers of names and addresses. You can tell such sites right away when you load up their page on your browser. You see about ten to fifteen photos per page, nearly identical wording on the bios, normally only credit card payment info and no one person's name at the top who you can talk to if you have a problem. If you are surfing for an agency, a sign that one is more credible than others would be the listing of a phone number and a manager's name. This tells you there is someone accountable, and if possible before you send any money or write any romantic thoughts, spend the dollar it costs per minute for the long distance call from abroad and touch base with the manager. From your conversation you will be able to tell if this is a 'take the money and run' operation or one that will work with you in attempting to find the match of a lifetime. The address sellers are the weak link in the marriage agency chain. 

Marriage agencies do attract negative publicity, and are still seen as somewhat exploitative, but it is worth remembering that they exist everywhere. However, the financial differentials between Western husbands and Slavic brides has left the practice open to attack. In the late 1990s a feminist legislator from Washington State proposed a law wherein background checks should be required of men enlisting the services of a marriage agency overseas. Allegedly responding to cases wherein eastern European and Asian women were bought as mail order brides and abandoned or abused in the United States, the legislation was thrown out, largely due to the lack of concrete cases of abuses. In fact, many agencies make a point of listing suc­cess stories of 'happy ever after' couples on their sites, and guard against getting involved with any Western client deemed 'undesirable'.

In general, potential bride hunters should be careful when choosing an agency and ask those sensitive tough questions before hopping on a plane or forking out a lot of money for that one 'special girl'. There are many genuine ladies looking for long-term involvement, but there are also many girls more excited by the prospect of 'no strings' fun with comparatively well-off foreign man. Happy hunting!

Chris Simon



Kiev Connections - Russian Woman, Women Marriage Agency in Kiev, Ukraine.





Kiev Connections - Russian Woman, Women Marriage Agency in Kiev, Ukraine.



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