All you want to know about Russian women for marriage but never asked. Why women from Russia seek husbands abroad? Can Russian ladies speak English? Is it true that most of Russian women seeking men are prostitutes or ex-prostitutes? And more...

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I love your website.  It's definitely not of US concoction. 

Richard D. (USA)


I would like to compliment you on your wonderful site. It is very informative and I believe an accurate representation of the issues surrounding this type of undertaking. I studied the Russian people for many years and have often said and truly believe that there is no other group of people in the world that we (Americans) have so much in common with. Again, a fantastic job. I will continue to follow the progress of your site. Continued success to you and happiness for those who truly seek it.

Alan Chapman


Thank you for an informative and honest site. It's a great relief  to finally get some straight information and answers on the topic of Russian-American courtship.  Keep up the good work!

Mark, USA


I would first like to comment on your site. This is probably the only  site out there that really covers every aspect of Russia and Russian women. I have been to this site many times over the course of the last year and have read everything many times. Until recently have I noticed a picture of your family, you have such a beautiful family and your kids are so cute. I know how proud you must be.

Kevin, Kansas City Missouri, USA


Many ignorant people (who have never been to Russia obviously) constantly tell me that Russian women treat me much better because they are desperate to get out of their country. These people make snap judgments about something they know nothing about. Their claim is laughable and ignorant. I can prove that it's false too. 

First of all, Americans are not the standard to compare the rest of the world by. Just because people in other countries are different, doesn't mean that they must have ulterior motives. Why can't people be naturally or inherently different without having ulterior motives? 

Second, most Russian women are NOT trying to leave their country to live abroad. That's a false egocentric media image. Most Russian women love to travel to Europe, America, or other areas for vacation but do not want to move there permanently. Those that want to leave their country constitute a very small percentage of the total, and even among them, most of them are not desperate. They are merely considering it as an option, but not basing all their hopes on it. Out of the women who are seeking marriage with foreign men, a few may be desperate, but they are usually either gold diggers, have a highly materialistic mentality, brainwashed by Hollywood movies depicting luxurious lifestyles, or have a child that they need a financially stable man to help raise. 

Third, the Russian women I met who weren't seeking marriage to foreign men didn't treat me any less better than those who did. They were willing to spend time with me, get to know me, and didn't blow me off. The same goes for those who didn't have a romantic interest and just wanted to be friends.

Fourth, they dumped me as soon as they decided I was not the right guy for them. If they were desperate and saw me as a ticket out of Russia, why would they dump me if they didn't think we were compatible? 

The people making rash statements such as that Russian women are desperate to leave their country, and this is the reason why they treat foreign men well, have never even been to Russia. Most media reporters write their stories basing on half-hour interviews with people who have been there for a week. No one who has spent extensive time in Russia thinks that people there are desperate to leave their country. Most Russians are very proud of their country and culture, and it shows in their traditions, architecture, music, holidays, vibes, etc. 

I, on the other hand, have spent 6 months in Russia, met hundreds of people, and had many deep discussions with people there. Therefore, don't you think I am more qualified to comment on this, than the ignorant people who make rash statements about somewhere they've never been and know nothing about? 

So, here is my idea of Russian women: (1) Russian women treat all men differently from American women, and not only foreign men; (2) Russian people like foreigners in general and are interested in foreign cultures, much due to the many years of "iron curtain" when they did not have contacts with western world; (3) Most Russian women seeking foreign men are not desperate and will not consider marrying a man they don't like to just get out of Russia, and seek compatible partners.

WWu777
See my website with hundreds original photos from my 6-month trip to Russia


I am 50 years old and have been alone for 10 years. Two years ago, I contacted a lady from Izhevsk and became internet friends. At the outset of our communication, I asked her if I could meet her family- should I ever had the chance to travel to her country. Her response was positive. We continued to correspond and last summer I traveled to Russia and spent 12 days with her and her family. 

The reasons why I chose a Russian lady to fulfill my life are too numerous, but suffice it to say that I find Russian women educated, chic in their appearance (no matter what their financial conditions - I saw a beautifully dressed woman operating a train between the center of town and the suburbs) and want a husband to be her companion- to share whatever life gives them. As for me, I am waiting for her arrival this month, after 9 long months of waiting. She is 45 years old, a most interesting, genuine, warm lady I have ever met. I look forward to a wonderful life - not empty of problems, but with a solid base of understanding, communication, trust and genuine affection for each other, I am sure we will meet life's challenges. 

Again, thank you for your concerns, both for the Russian women and for us who are looking for someone to fulfill our loneliness. 

Regards,
Rodrigo de Brak


I have found your information and insight
into Russian culture and customs very interesting and very helpful. In a few weeks time my fiancee Inna will arrive from the Ukraine. Inna is 27 and I am 47 though we have met twice already (Inna came to the UK for ten weeks earlier this year). Although my feelings for her are beyond words I
cannot seem to get a grasp of how exactly she feels about me. Certainly she is leaving much behind and undertaking a lot of work to be with me so that must say a lot. I was therefore relieved to read that Russian women have great difficultly in expressing themselves emotionally. This is true of Inna. I was surprised to learn
that Russian/Ukraine women appreciate a strong and decisive men and are frustrated when asked to make decisions. The only disagreements Inna and I have experienced were misunderstandings when she thought I was being indecisive (trying to establish where she would like to go one day) or being cheap/mean when she thought I was trying to save money between restaurant menus (I was deciding whether to treat her to Tai or Chinese food - not price). When I adopted a more positive and dominant role in the relationship, Inna responded positively and became more relaxed. This is very much in contrast to how Western men are usually expected to behave.

John Bend

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FAQ


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FAQ, page 2 Top FAQ

 

Why Russian women seek husbands abroad?

If you ask women this question, the answers will be:

  • I want my children to be happy and have a secure future, and it's impossible with the current situation in Russia. 

  • There are not enough men in Russia to find a partner.

  • Russian men are terrible.

All the statements are true to some extent. But at the same time none of them gives you a real reason. 

The real and fundamental reason why women look for a life partner abroad is that they are not happy in their love life and cannot find a suitable partner in Russia. It's that simple!

The demographic reason behind that is that there are 10 million more women in Russia than men, or only 88 men for 100 women. Some women are destined to stay single. The cultural notion for a Russian woman is to get married and have a family; this is the necessary condition of success for a woman. This is why even successful career women feel unfulfilled if they don't have a husband and family, and some of them use search for a partner abroad as an option. They do it because they want to meet a suitable partner for marriage.

A married woman, even if she is struggling with everyday surviving and not happy with Russian family model, won't divorce her Russian husband to look for a foreign husband.

Russian women do not choose between Russian men and foreign men. They choose between staying single for life and having her own family.

Russian women want MARRIAGE, to love and be loved. Security and a better life go as a part of the package.

For more details on this matter see Myth 5.

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Are Russian women's personalities different from Western women?

Yes, they are a bit different. They don't have a different type of character, and they also love shopping and chatting. They are human beings and they are definitely not perfect. The main difference is that they are much more patient and can tolerate things that Western women will never be able to bear. They are more considerate and dependable. They are partners, not competitors.

Another important difference is that Russian women (and Russians in general) have very low self-esteem. They are very insecure. While Western women think that they are goddesses and able to cope with anything on their own, a Russian woman (living in Russia and married to a Russian man) will rarely leave a bad (really BAD) husband because of the fear that she won't find another one. For many years the state and men have been oppressing them, and they don't think much about themselves.

Russian women are well groomed, stylish, educated and intelligent (as are Russians in general) also diets and sports are not as popular as in the west. Nevertheless, they are rarely overweight - they still walk a lot because they don't have cars, and don't eat junk food  (which is strange enough is considered expensive - compared to home made meals). They do not have to make an effort to live healthy - it just comes natural.

The greatest difference between Russian women and western women is precisely captured by linguistics: in English you call it, "to share your life with" and in Russian they call it, "to join our lives together". Where you will often find a western woman being a competitor in a relationship, a Russian woman is a partner.

I am not selling you a "docile, submissive Russian bride". I am telling what is the difference in character between Russian women living in Russia and western women living in the west. There is also a difference between western men living in the west and Russian men living in Russia (and I am certainly not a big fond of the patriarchal, chauvinistic Russian family model). You live in a certain society and you become a part of this society, whether you want it or not. Russian women living abroad are different from Russian women living in Russia. Russian women change when they move abroad, and western demographics is very different from Russian (where they have only 87 men for 100 women). Some things stay the same, some things change. I know I have changed a lot living in the west. Part of it was simply growing as a person, but a great deal was due to the different culture. This is to be expected.

Being insecure doesn't mean being submissive. You probably know many people with low self-esteem who are insecure but they are certainly not submissive.

Some reporters pull a phrase out of my writings, take it out of the context, and then happily announce, "Look how they taut those poor Russian brides" (not that there is anything wrong with those reporters; they just have to have "an angle" to their story, and this one sells better). This reminds me of the times they taught us in Soviet Russia that western employees were mercilessly exploited by greedy capitalists. You may laugh at it, but we grew up feeling very sorry for you guys, who were so mercilessly exploited, and very happy for the fact that we were born in Soviet Union. I am NOT joking!

I have a personal experience of living through the process of finding a foreign husband, and I see my own marriage to a western man as liberation, which it certainly was if you compare the level of freedom in post-Soviet Russia and in the west with its centuries-old democratic traditions. While some reporters enjoy speculating about "men buying women - women selling themselves", this is just as valid a description as "exploiter-exploited" for employer-employee relationship. If you ever had a job, or hired someone to work for you, who was the one who won out of your arrangement? I guess both sides won, although sometimes the situation is more beneficial for the employer, and sometimes for the employee.

This is why I believe that the majority of Russian women will be better off marrying a western man than if they married a Russian man living in Russia - and this is why I am doing what I am doing. For the people who talk about abuse of "mail order brides", I suggest you check the figures of Amnesty International showing that in Russia about 14,000 women are MURDERED every year by their husbands or intimate partners (one Russian woman dies from domestic violence every 40 minutes). In the U.S.A., by comparison, this figure stands at 1,200 a year (the population of Russia is 144 million, the population of the U.S.A. is 293 million). Now, tell me where a Russian woman will be better off - in Russia where police often won't even accept complaints about physical abuse against one's partner, or in America where a patrol will be immediately sent to regulate any home-based dispute, and appropriate measures taken?

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Are Russian women interested in living in any other countries apart from America?  Seems most of the ladies are only interested in America.

I am sorry if my site gave you such an impression, it cannot be further from the truth. All information on my site is fully applicable to men from any western country. I have clients from many countries, including USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, 55 countries! (Click here for the complete list of the countries - if I don't have clients from you country, you will receive 50% DISCOUNT on any service!)

There are some women that are interested in particular countries like Germany, Austria, Italy, France, England, Australia, Canada and others. Usually the reason for that is family members or friends who are staying there.

Actually, very few women would like to go only to the US, most of them don't mind about a country if it's the right guy.

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I would like to write to some Russian ladies but I am not out to look for a wife immediately, rather a friend first and then see what happens. Do ladies expect more?

You can state clearly from the very beginning that you are interested in establishing friendship first. The majority of the women seeking partners do expect more, but if they decide to keep contact with you, it will mean that they accept your position. 

There is nothing wrong with your position, and if you don't feel ready for starting a long term relationship right now, you may try to start with friendship. Beware though, that a lady can accept somebody else's offer, even if she really likes you, just because she is not sure about your intentions.

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Can Russian women speak English
?

Most of the ladies who apply to dating agencies can at least read and understand English.

They all study English at school for 7 years (Grades 5-11). English is a compulsory subject at universities and colleges and one will not be able to get her degree without completing a 3-year course of English through her tertiary education. In bigger cities like Moscow and St Petersburg more people speak English well than in regional cities. 

So if your lady has a degree, she has studied English for 10 years!

About 20% of women speak English well, and other 30% can communicate on a decent level; others who never used the language in their life forget it with the time and can only read and translate - but the base is there, so they are usually able to start speaking English fluently in 6-8 months when live in an English speaking country.

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What kind of a sense of humour do Russian women generally have? Do they laugh a lot or very little?

Russians have a great sense of humour, otherwise they won't be able to survive in this country. They laugh about things instead of complaining.

Though they smile very little it the streets and in everyday life, it's not because they have no sense of humour, but because they do not usually smile without a reason. If you meet somebody's sight, she will usually just look back but never smile, as in Russia it's not appropriate to smile to strangers.

The sense of humour they have is also different. Russians prefer very fine type of jokes, with indirect humour that westerners would describe as dry. Russians do not find it funny when somebody falls or the like, and they consider many western comedies being silly. Loud laughing at background in sitcoms they find irritating and stupid. When somebody makes a joke or tells a funny story, he will usually do it with very serious expression on the face, and he will spoil everything if laughs with others.

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Is
there a considerable difference between Russian and other women of the former Soviet Union - for example, Ukrainian or Belarussian?

There are some particular cultural differences between women from different countries of the former Soviet Union but in general all information on my site is applicable to women from all the countries. The differences are not significant.

Ukrainian women are more outgoing and open, Russians are more reserved. At the same time a Ukrainian wife is more likely to argue about the things than a Russian. But of course that mostly depends on personality not nationality.

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Would a Russian lady be interested
in living in a small town?

The majority of Russian ladies seem to be rather cosmopolitan. The reason is that in Russia living in a small town or  village is a nightmare. There are very poor life conditions, dirtiness, no entertainment, no goods to buy, even TV reception may be not available. Russian ladies do not know and understand the difference between small towns in Russia and abroad, and they just have this instinctive fear towards small towns.

My advice is to use the following tactics when writing your letters to ladies:  

1. Do not apply to women from Moscow or St. Petersburg. These cities have completely different conditions of life from the rest of Russia. Some foreigners told me that Moscow and St. Petersburg were not Russian cities, they are rather European. Women there have better chances to meet foreigners as many agencies organize tours with socials to those destinations, and ladies are becoming spoilt and demanding.

2. Tell more about your town, its entertainment, restaurants and cafes, TV reception and other attractions, weather conditions etc. - everything that you like there. Do not try too hard - you must just say how nice the place is and why you like to live there. If you stay there because one can make very good living, mention it. Send a nice picture featuring you city in summer - with flowers or a lake, or anything nice and warm. Tell her where you can go for better entertainment like opera or theatre, and how far the place is.

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What Russian women think about interracial marriages
?

They simply do not think about them. The majority of Russian women won't consider an interracial marriage. As you know, there are no people of African origin in Russia, so ladies do not put the requirement about race on their lists. For them it's natural that they consider themselves applying only to men of their race.

There are native inhabitants of Asian race in Russia (Bashkir, Bouryat, Koreans and others), and this type of interracial marriage was not uncommon in the past and still takes place. They don't talk about interracial marriages, it's not an issue there. Russians are proud that they don't have racial problems.

There is no prejudice towards such marriages. They don't condemn somebody else's marriage to a person of a different race. At the same time women seldom will consider it as a personal option.

According to my questionnaire, about 85% of ladies would like to meet a white man; 10% will consider a man of Asian origin, and 5% don't mind about a race of their future partner.

Will you lose time pursuing marriage to a lady from Russia if you are not white?

It depends. For Russian ladies, if you look white, you are white. They do not separate Hispanic and whites. They are afraid of Arabs, but mostly because of differences in religion (Russians are Christians). They adore mulattos, especially of the lighter color. American and Europeans would have much better chance then a colored man from Africa.

Quite a few ladies will consider a man of Asian origin as an option, though you've got less chances than a white guy, and you will have to try harder. I also know about successful relationships black/multiracial men had with ladies from Russia. So, it is possible, but be prepared for rejection from some women because of your race.

I had many Asian clients, and a black client, too. They had received fairly good response to their ads, and established good contacts with nice ladies.

Click here to read the full interview with my first black client, and about his results.

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I am 60-something
and I would like to find a mate in Russia, but don't want to be
a 'door mat' so she can get here and then dump me. How should I act?

A good idea may be a personal ad in Russia. Just make your requirements clear, so you will receive responses only from the ladies who meet them.

There are many ladies in Russia in their 40's who will be interested in you yourself. (Just do not consider finding a 20-year-old girl - you can find one, but your marriage will rarely last longer than 2 years...) It's almost impossible for a woman over 40 to find a marriage partner in Russia. Men whether have been already married, or they are not able to be husbands because of poor health condition or alcohol addiction. Many women apply to agencies hoping to find a husband - somewhere... 

You may also consider a way of contacting ladies who signed up with local marriage agencies - actually about 70% of Russian local marriage agencies clients are women over 35. You will seldom find their data on the Internet as most of men dream about meeting 25-year-old beauties, and agencies try to satisfy the demand. (See Myth 1 for details)

You can have your data submitted to 372 local Russian marriage agencies or advertise in Russia using Starter Help Package.

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Is it true that
most of Russian women seeking men are prostitutes or ex-prostitutes?

NO, IT IS NOT TRUE. I have answered this question in Myth 3 of the section Myths and Reality, but I have been asked again and again.

THEY ARE NOT PROSTITUTES OR EX-PROSTITUTES. Perhaps a few simple reasons will convince you.

Reason #1. To be a prostitute, there must be clients who are able to pay for sex. But with Russian reality almost nobody has enough money for this type of expense. The one who has money doesn't have problems with women - they will love to make an acquaintance with a well-to-do guy. Probably the only places in Russia where a hooker can make some money for a living are Moscow and St. Petersburg - there are many visitors with money. In regional cities there are nobody who is able and willing to pay for sex.

Reason #2. In Russia there are so many women available, you don't need to pay to make love. 

Reason #3. An educated intelligent woman - and most of Russian women seeking partners ARE intelligent and well educated - will never even think about this way of making a living.

The media are not honest towards Russian women seeking marriage - they prefer to concentrate on tragic stories not to tell about successful ones. I had a great career in Russia (that I happily abandoned to join my husband in South Africa) and I was not a prostitute. I have many Russian friends In South Africa and over here in Australia who also got married in the same way - there are former engineers, university lecturers, top-level managers, medical doctors, professional interpreters and teachers among them - and NONE of them was a prostitute.

I am not going to elaborate. I am sick and tired of people considering me as a gold digger or a woman with improper past. Russian women are human beings, and they just want to be happy. It's the real and only reason why they look for partners abroad.

There are some agencies on the Net offering escort services, but it's a completely different story. You will be told straight away that it's an escort and the price will reflect that. The vast majority of Internet dating agencies make their best to stay away from the women like those. I actually doubt that even 1% of the women featured by dating agencies may happen to be prostitutes or ex-prostitutes.

Another thing that can confuse men - Russian women have completely different style of dressing, and a decent woman can look like a girl from Hollywood boulevard. Russian women are very fond of short skirts and makeup, that's it, no hidden agenda. For them it's impossible to understand how a woman can dress like most of females over here - jeans, T-shirt and trainers.

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Is it true that nearly 80 percent of Russian women smoke?

No, it's not true. Some of Russian women do smoke but not more than 5-10%. In the large cities like Moscow or St Petersburg, the percentage can be probably about 15%.

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Why the majority of Russian women featured by agencies are looking for much older husbands? 

It's true that many of Russian ladies' ads state that they do not mind meeting a man of much older age (a 25-year-old  woman usually is searching for 25-45 yo man, or doesn't specify any age limit). But if you see an ad stating that a 25 yo lady wants to meet a man of 40-60 years old, there is definitely something wrong.  

The possible reasons why it looks like Russian ladies dream about much older husbands:

  • The agency told her that it will be much easier for her to find an older man, and that she will be able to decide later if she wants to date him (agencies need clients!!!).

  • She did not specify age of a prospective partner in her application because she did not think that it's important, or just forgot.

  • The ads are placed by women seeking "rich" husbands and targeted to the most efficient audience;

  • There are VERY FEW ladies who probably do want a MUCH older husband.

It's possible for a man to find a younger lady, and even MUCH younger. My opinion is that 10-15 years difference is the limit, otherwise you will face problems at a later stage.

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What about stories of ladies coming to the US and leaving shortly after the marriage?

It may happen. Not that often as media say, but it is a fact of reality. The biggest danger of the myths the dating agencies spread is that they make men hope that a young beautiful Russian lady will love an old unattractive American guy just because he lives in a better country and can guarantee her security. 

Some 50-year-old men dream about a 18-year-old girl, find her, marry, and then say that Russian women just want to get into the country. They would have never been in such a situation if pursued marriage to a woman 35+.

In Russia some people don't live decently, and some women are ready to do anything to live a better life. Once in a relationship with a foreign guy, a woman feels happy to be loved and cared for, and is grateful for changing her life for the better. She may even feel in love when it's just a temporary intoxication. 

Russian women are used to sacrificing themselves for children, and if she has a child, she can agree to almost anything to ensure that he is safe, will always food on the table and money for education. 

A woman can be unhappy in her marriage and still feel lucky to have a better than average life standards. Russian woman is entitled to feel happy if her husband does not drink and has a good job; nobody talks about love, it's not important. If a woman has a rich husband (a person owing a car, an apartment, and earning more than $400 a month), people will think she is crazy or stupid if leaving him for love.

But good standards of living are everything only for the poverty-ridden. When women are in a country like USA, their attitude changes very quickly. Love and rewarding sexual life are important conditions of happiness. A lady was probably  not going to divorce her older husband from the very beginning, but at a later stage she starts to feel miserable and realizes that she plugged herself into a worse situation than she was previously in. It's two different worlds, not just two different cultures.

A professor from an American university told me that he met a couple of men on board a plane to Russia who flew there for a "marriage tour". He characterized them as "bad". He said they were arrogant, obviously had problems with health, and were drinking too much. One of them complained that he was previously married to a Russian woman but she left him a year after the marriage. The professor said he felt sorry - for the woman, because she had stayed with this man for the whole year. He said that he would have run away from him in a couple of days if he were her. And this guy was intending to find another lady for marriage in Russia - again, 20-30 years younger.

This is where the stories about Russian women looking for nothing but Green Card start.

It's important that you both love each other, otherwise your marriage won't work. A woman can say "I love you" when she doesn't, it's just another Russian women's feature. They are not able to refuse when a man insists. You must not fool yourself. You will always feel if it's a true feeling.

I don't believe that any woman would like to get married to just divorce her husband in 2 years (the necessary time for receiving Green Card), if she can get married for love.

Russians are surprisingly non-materialistic when it's about true love. You may think that I am not consistent saying that, but the truth is that Russians are not consistent. They think with their hearts and feelings. They can have beliefs but act in the opposite way because of feelings. They will follow their decisions made by mind until true feelings get involved. (It's why sometimes westerners think that Russians are irrational. They are rational but in their own way.)

A successful marriage can only be based on love and mutual respect whether it's a Russian woman or a Western one. Your foreign citizenship can make you more attractive to Russian ladies but it can't make your marriage more successful. Russian women make good wives - that's true, but only if she wants to be your wife.

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What do you think about marriage tours with socials offered by some agencies?

I cannot give my personal opinion as a participant; in my time there was not tours to my native city Ekaterinburg; I was invited by different companies to socials in Moscow and St Petersburg, but never attended. I would have loved to go even just out of pure curiosity but it was too far and too expensive to travel. 

In 2001 the first groups of foreigners attended socials in Ekaterinburg, and I know from ladies that men were delighted. There were queues of women to every guy! (Some women said they were disappointed that there were too few men; so if you want to be welcomed, I would advise Ekaterinburg! :-)

The biggest advantage of a tour is that what you see is what you get. It is really a very special feeling when 100's beautiful women are around you, and you can apply to anyone, and they all will be very welcoming and polite. I know men who are addicted to tours, and go on a second, third or even forth tour. It can be truly the most exciting adventure of a life time.

I personally believe that a relationship needs time; but at the end of the day it does not matter when you spend this time to get to know each other better, before or after the first personal meeting.

The other advantages of organized tours are that they have a sightseeing program, as well as cultural program. Also, the tour organizers know Russia well and you won't get nasty surprises. Your safety is tour organizer's priority.

My advice for tour attendants: make contact with some women prior to the tour, and if there is (are) somebody special in your correspondence, make arrangements to see them while you are there on the tour. Not all the women live in the city where you are going. Your soul mate may happen to live too far and won' t attend it because it's too expensive.

But most women will be able to arrive at the city of the tour (if it is in the same country) and will do it for a special man. If they think you are that man, they will travel 2000 kilometres for you. Taking in consideration the price of the tour, it would be wise to have some contacts to ensure your visit brings results.

(More information about tours you can find here)

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Do many women
look at and read men catalogues at the agencies (the service you offer)?

Usually it's mostly new clients who are interested in catalogues though existing clients also look through. The thing is that when you are one of a woman's very first  correspondents, you have much better chance that your relationship will work out. Correspondence require emotional investments, and when a woman is already involved in a letter writing campaign, she has less interest towards new contacts. When a woman chooses you herself, she is highly interested in you as it's her own decision.

When women have just signed up with the agency, they have a great desire to build a relationship, and it's rarely an impulsive decision. A woman comes to an agency after months of thinking and comparing. She pays for the service, and she wants to get instant results.

Catalogues allow her to start her search straight away. It's why local Russian agencies are eager to get men's catalogues. But the vast majority of Western agencies publish their catalogues without men's real addresses, and women have to apply first to the agency, which issued the catalogue. For the Western agencies publishing catalogues is a way of attracting new female clients who have to apply to the agencies in order to contact men. Very often publication in a catalogue is part of the package when a man buys addresses, and many men from the catalogues are already not available. It's why some local Russian agencies are sceptical about regular men's catalogues - but they are eager to receive mine. For the moment I have well over a hundred subscribers, and every week brings a few more.

For local Russian agencies, catalogues are also a way of attracting new clients because women sometimes can't make up their mind about which agency to choose. The possibility to apply to men from catalogues can be a point. Local agencies are interested in fast results, as word of mouth advertising is far more powerful in the offline business. The agencies promote catalogues a lot to ensure flow of new clients.

You will receive not only a huge instant response but your listing with agencies will also work for a while (it will be offered by agencies to their clients until you ask to remove your info). Click here to read more about personal listing with local marriage agencies.

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Why does it take so long for Russian ladies to answer letters via email

Is it because they have to save money for sending letters? 
Should I offer a financial help?

There may be a few reasons why ladies do not answer promptly but it's rarely because of lack of money. (More about it in the section Using email of Russian women secrets).

It is good to offer covering ladies' expenses for email services - the amount a lady spends for receiving 1 message is not more than $1, and for sending - about $2 or less. 

I believe, almost any single woman in Russia needs financial help, but she will probably refuse to take money from you. The average monthly salary in Russia is about $100. If she works for the government, she may receive her salary with 2-12 months delay (more about it in the section Russians).

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Can a woman visit me first?

There are many different types of visas a person can get for coming to USA but for a single young woman the only one she can get easily is a fiancée visa. All the other visitors' visas are very difficult to obtain including the tourist visa. If a lady has very good income (more than $500 a month), some property in Russia and a child staying behind, and SHE CAN PROVE IT, she will probably be able to get a tourist visa. If she does not meet the criteria, she can't hope to get the visa. She will be refused a visa 99% of the time, and it will make it much more difficult for her to apply for a visa next time.

If she tries any trick with the consulate, she may be blacklisted. I have heard about cases where women came to USA with a different type of visa (student's or another) and were turned back by INC representatives right at the airport.

If you have not met in person before, it will be impossible to get the only type of visa she should use for coming to you - the fiancée visa. If it's a problem for you to travel that far, you may consider a possibility to meet somewhere else - on one of the islands where she does not need a visa (Caribbean or any other close by).

Some men still write to me and ask again:

"You stated that is difficult for a Russian woman to visit the US and Canada. I checked the information page for US visas and it seemed pretty routine to get a tourist visa for the US. An invitation, proof of property, employment, children in Russia, and return trip ticket. Did I miss something?"

They probably think that the procedure is the same for a guy from, for example, France, and a single woman from Eastern Europe. I can tell you that US embassy is very concerned about single women from Eastern Europe visiting States on tourist visas. Very often they don't return. Too often.

So you can try to apply for a tourist visa, and discover for yourself what thousands of US men already know - for an unmarried woman from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc a tourist visa is more than very difficult to obtain. Some men even talked to the Embassy, and they confirmed she can apply for a tourist visa. The lady does, it takes 3-6 months to collect all necessary papers, then they wait 2-3 months again for decision, and eventually the visa is refused. It will frustrate your lady up to the limit, and she will be about to give up. Better believe me!

The correct way of bringing a woman into US (Canada) is a fiancée visa that requires your personal meeting before the time. 

(More information about fiancée visas here.)

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What would it cost to have a Russian girl travel here
?

To have a Russian girl travel to USA will cost the price of return air ticket - of course, if you manage to get a visitors visa for her that is almost impossible (see above). You may find out about the price for a return ticket from Moscow at any travel agency.

A return ticket to Moscow from a Russian city where a girl is staying will cost US $40-200. To go from Russia to the US will cost also about $500-1000, depending on the company and tariff.  There may be some discounts or specials for tickets from US if it's not a pick season, but not from Russia. They seldom offer specials on tickets in Russia.

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Is it true
that some Russians don't like people from US or Canada?

No, it's not. Russians love foreigners and feel high respect towards them - the fact that usually surprises foreigners.

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Why is alcohol abuse in Russia pervasive? Can I not drink when offered?

Alcohol is a very affordable way to have some fun and get rid of the hard reality of everyday fight for survival. The other things like gyms, travel, arts, concerts etc are too expensive. It's also always was a part of Russian culture, and skills to drink a lot and not get drunk are considered to be a part of "the real man" image.

You don't have to drink, if you don't wan to. You may say that you have a medical condition or use medicine that does not allow using any alcohol, or just take a sip and put your glass back. 

If you say that you are strongly against drinking, Russians might decide that you are very odd.

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Will I get hassled by government when visiting Russia?

It's not a Soviet Union and the times of cold war. The government doesn't care about foreign tourists anymore, they have too many things to think of.

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H
ow much money
would it cost to travel to Russia  from the United States? How much does it take to survive a day in Russia?

It depends on you - how expensive your habits are, on the period you are going to stay and on the city you are visiting. Moscow and St. Petersburg are very expensive. You may hope it will be enough to have about US $100 for a day in cash or travel checks. Anyway, you should have your credit card with you - Russia is unpredictable, and you may need some extra money. Make sure that all your travel arrangements are prepaid, and book through a well-established travel agency.

A return ticket to Moscow will cost you about $500-1000 depending on air company and season.  

As for Russians, they receive average monthly salaries of about US $100, and still manage to survive.

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How do most Russian ladies fare being so far away from home, is homesickness a
problem?

Yes, in the very beginning it's a problem. Women feel very lonely and even cry sometimes. It was a problem for me, too. 

A woman does not know the country and people, she experiences difficulties with the simplest things like buying things in a supermarket, she can't fluently communicate.

But women don't want to go back to Russia. They miss their friends and family but not the country itself. As I said, women don't realize how big the difference is between Russia and Western countries. When they have lived for a while in a country like the USA or Western Europe, they get used to it quickly and think about coming back with fear.

Some of my friends emigrated to USA with their families. They live in quite poor conditions according to American standards. But they don't want to go back though they had used to live much better than the average Russian families, had property and successful businesses.

I got rid of my homesickness when I went back to Russia after a few months. My husband asked me how I felt, if I felt like I was going to home or from home. I was confused. I did not feel that my home was in Russia but I had yet felt that my home was here. 

But when I was in Russia, I could not stop wondering how I used to tolerate all those things. I did not want to stay there even the time I was supposed to stay. I realized that it was not my home anymore. My home is here. I realized that I had almost nothing in common with my Russian friends, and that they felt the same about me. Some of them had a kind of envy, and at the same time they would try to convince me (and themselves) that they felt sorry for me.

I asked other women married to Westerners about how they felt. All of them said: "Move back to Russia? NEVER!!!"  

I am Russian, and I will always be. But I do not like the country. I love it as a mother would love a son-criminal. Too many things are wrong there, even though quite a lot of things are right. Russians are intelligent and educated nation, and they deserve better.

Things ARE changing in Russia for the better. The government tries to sort it out, and people have hopes and aspirations, -- much different from the times I left (1998, after the famous economical crisis of August, 17). 

My father believed Russia will be one of the greatest countries in 15-20 years. Might be, his prophecy will come true. Many Russians feel the same way. But women want to have family and children NOW, they cannot wait another 15 or 20 years. For that, they are willing to sacrifice their country, culture, language, family and friends. I believe they deserve respect for their bravery and industriousness.

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