Russian Ukrainian Adventures Forum Newsletter – Autumn/Winter 2019

Our forum is now twelve years old, and we have just passed our half millionth post milestone. That’s a lot of people doing a lot of talking the last decade or so!

The forum was started back in the tail end of the Russian and Ukrainian so-called ‘mail order bride’ phenomenon, and our subject matter was a one-trick pony in that regard back then. Times have changed in a decade. Russian and Ukrainian women are not relocating like they once were. Indeed, since Crimea reunified with Russia and the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk broke away to become independent, the Ukrainian bride industry [as it mostly was] has withered on the vine.

The Realities of Expat Living in Moscow 2016

Let’s break down some metrics:

I live in a 2-room flat less than a 10-minute car ride to the city center (Prospect Mira for those of you who know the area).

It’s Western renovated and ran about $1330 (40k rubles) before the ruble devalued. Concurrently, most apartments in Moscow have either kept the same rental price, or have actually decreased in price in order to find tenants.

So, while someone’s income has decreased because of the exchange rate in dollar terms, so has relative housing cost; over $8k a year in my case (roughly $675 a month). That 40k includes gas, electricity, landline, cableTV/internet, trash, water and my Tajik Concierge. Great guy, and very helpful.

If I were to go back and live in a comparable flat in Los Angeles, the same cost would double, minimum.

I would also have to buy a car, so we’d be talking conservatively about another $600 for car payments, gas, insurance and maintenance for an average $20K ride. My transportation costs average about $150 a month (metro, taxis, g/f’s car, etc.).

The next biggest expense is of course food. I spend at most 1000 rubles a day. I really can’t see spending more than this, and 1000 could probably be chopped in half if push comes to shove. But for the sake of argument, let’s double it to 2000 and use this for reference.

Housing, utilities cable and WiFi internet – 40000

Transportation – 10000. Remember I’m an expat and don’t need a car here.

Food – 60000, and believe me that is an ambitious sum, more like 30-40000 at most, but again for the sake of reference. We’ll use 60k to include entertainment such as eating out, movies, theatre, etc., and a daily 300 ruble Starbuck mocha that I could easily do without, etc. This factors in a 35% rise in food costs during the devaluation period.

Restaurants/cafes prices have only increased about 5-10% during this time; closer to 5% all things considered.

Pretty much covers about everything and we’re looking at 106,000 rubles.

Now I understand that it would be nice if you could still stash away about $3k a month, but times they do change. And if you were someone who hasn’t saved for a rainy day (time), then that’s on you.

Nevertheless, that leaves us with 94000 rubles and that is still close to $1500; not bad all things considered.

If you think that things will not improve, or that your time back in the States will be better, I say don’t let the customs agent kick you in the ass on your way out. And good luck with those American women.

All I know is, given the situation, there’s no way I’m heading back, and really, why would I? Simply put, I have a wonderful life here, despite all the oppression I [don’t] feel from Putin.

Contrary to popular belief, life is good here. And it’s especially good if you’re lucky enough to be making 200k rubles a month. 98% of the working population in Moscow would love to make that kind of money. And if you’re one of the very fortunate expats to be making 200k a month or more, then count your blessings.

Russian Ukrainian Adventures Forum Newsletter – Summer 2015

The Forum Has Changed Direction a Little to Include More Travel, Culture, News and Politics.

The site was stuck in what is a dying and declining niche. When the site first started back in the mid naughties, it was firmly aimed at what some termed the “mail-order bride” niche. The FSU dating scene was then – although slowing down – still a vibrant industry. It was mostly centred on Ukraine the last decade or so, and most of those travelling there to meet women were from the US.

However, as you will know, a year and a half ago, there was a western-backed coup d’etat in Ukraine that saw the overthrow of the elected president and the installation of a new regime in Kiev. Subsequently, Crimea reunified with Russia and the east of Ukraine broke away into independent regions. Since then, civil war has raged in Ukraine while the new borders are being defined.

Against a backdrop of significantly reduced dating-related travel to the region, Crimea reunifying with Russia, increased American aggression against Russia, US/EU sanctions against Russia, counter sanctions from Russia, civil war in Ukraine and the MH17 crash, it isn’t hard to see why the forum became quickly dominated by these topics of discussion. So we decided to roll with it and reorganise the site somewhat.

If you take a fresh look at the placement of the forum rooms, you will find the dating and marriage sections have been condensed and moved further down the page. Up closer to the top you will find Cyrillic & Language, FSU News & Politics, Visas, Travel Discussion, Travel Reports, Culinary, Culture, Russian/Ukrainian Media and Expat Chat closer to the top. While we still have a lot of chat pertaining to dating in the former Soviet Union, you will find it isn’t as dominant as it once was.

Guys, if you are already married and haven’t visited us in a while, you can tell your wife it is a political, news and travel forum more than a dating forum nowadays. We know we lost a few of the married guys as their wives objected to them participating in what they saw as a ‘dating forum’. Yes, we still have some dating ads along with other types of ads, but like any site, we have to pay the bills. There is a topic on that here: Site Funding. Supporting Members. Q&A.

We would like to give you a few links to, and a little background about some of the recent popular topics.

Russian Ukrainian Adventures Newsletter – Summer 2014.

Russian Ukrainian Adventures Newsletter – Summer 2014.

Hello Member,

It has been a while since we sent out a newsletter, several years in fact. So we thought one was long overdue.

We would like to bring you up-to-date on the happenings at RUA in recent months.

The Forum Continues To Go From Strength to Strength!

The forum has been rather busy in recent months. We remain not only the busiest Russian women information discussion forum on the net by far, but we are also now the largest by a sizeable margin, and have been for some time.

As RUA continues to grow, so does our membership. We picked up many more new members recently following our decision to close our sister site GoGabber.com (the old Lucky Lovers forum) to new posts. That resulted in a much welcomed influx or Russian and Ukrainian ladies to RUA. If you have recently joined us from GoGabber – welcome! You are in good company. You will find many people you already know here.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock the last few months, you will know about the troubles in Ukraine. As you would expect, the forum is replete with conversation and lively debate on the subject, and as it is such an emotive subject for many people, the topics have been quite frenetic.

If he’s not marrying you, he’s just not that into you!

Why would a man want to marry a woman? Because in a cost/benefit analysis, the benefits of being with her outweigh the benefits of being alone – plain and simple!

When a man marries a woman, he makes an investment. He is investing 50% of everything he owns. Let’s compare that to the stock exchange! Imagine putting 50% of everything you own into a fund that may or may not give you an ROI, never mind the risk of a total failure.

When a man gives you that “piece of paper,” he is giving you a supposed lifetime of 50%. That’s a big investment! (Disclaimer: Pre-nups are entirely different, and are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes it’s an issue of trust, and sometimes it’s an issue of protecting your assets. This is usually a grey area that is not currently being discussed – we’re talking bare bones here.)

So, ladies, if a man is not marrying you, he’s just not that into you. You are not worth the risk just quite yet.

Yes, it has everything to do with you, as difficult as it is to admit. Get yourself into shape and find something to offer the guy!

The reverse is true as well – if a woman is not marrying you, it is because she feels that she is better off without you, or keeping you at a distance. If she is more selfish, she may be looking for someone with more money, or more to be gained. Chances are, you probably need to step up your game financially, as you are not meeting the standards!

What nationality of men do Russian and Ukrainian women prefer?

Many men from across the world seek a Russian speaking wife. That might be a woman from Ukraine, Russia or more recently Kazakhstan or Belarus.

But are you the kind of guy a Russian speaking woman wants? Check out the light hearted list below.

I have noticed specific trends of opinion with Russian speaking women about foreign guys and their locations.

American men: They either love the idea of them (and the USA) or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Some women love the thought of an American guy and living in the US; some think them stupid, with no history, culture or social skills. Many women complain of unrealistic expectations because men have read mail-order bride sites and expect that every twenty year old Slavic woman will be falling all over an old guy from Kansas. In the real world, with honest women, that doesn’t happen. Many Americans are ‘Keyboard Romeos’ who never book a flight and just want to talk – that pisses women off. Many FSU women who went abroad to be married went to the US though (4000 a year last time I looked), and many remain happy there – so that speaks for itself.

Canadian men: Who? Aren’t they American? Isn’t Canada a state or something? Canada is often seen as part of the US, even though it isn’t. Canadian guys have to get past that. Mention the Queen is my tip. Winters are as cold as Siberia, so no climate attraction. Be a nice guy, make it clear you are not American and maybe they will look you up on Wikipedia.

British men: These women (and many of their country folk) love the UK, London particularly. They call it Londongrad for a reason. However, we are sometimes thought to be unemotional and a bit cold. We call it ‘stiff upper lip’. For the women who don’t like southern Europeans, and who don’t like Americans, the UK is where it is at. We don’t carry the left-over Cold War stigma of Americans, we are closer to the FSU (cheaper to visit Mamma) and are often considered to be gentlemen. We have history, culture and because we are not American, the family approves.

Dutch men: On a par with Brits really in many ways. Often big, tall healthy guys with a decent outlook on life. Many who seek Russian speaking women are computer geeks or gamers who tend to be also quite right wing. Right wing appeals to many of these women. They are seen as good husband and father material.

Australian/NZ men: The bottom of the planet is very far away. Not for women with close family ties who want to visit home often. They are viewed as nice guys and their climate is on their side. For women who like a nice relaxed lifestyle, and who don’t want to visit home too often, and who like sun and not snow, Oz is a perfect choice.

Scandinavian men: They offer a great lifestyle, but it is still cold in winter and full of snow. Might as well be in Russia. Big, healthy, tall guys, many of whom like the gym, appeal to some. Slightly square, drink too much (especially Finns), but overall good guys is what I learned from women.

German/Austrian/Swiss men: As with Scandinavia, they offer a great lifestyle. But winter is cold, and the men are slightly square and unemotional. Way too much funny stuff in cellars going on. A society with many rules (more than the US even). Can be rather sexually perverted given a chance.

Belgian men: Cant decide if they want to speak Dutch, Flemish or French. So indecisive. The women we know who live in Belgium are unhappy. A small place with no identity. Way too many French Fries, Mayonnaise and moustaches.

French men: They imagine France to be romantic, France has many cultural ties with Russia – reality often disappoints. France is over-priced, dirty, the people arrogant, and too many immigrants.

Spanish and Greek men: No money, over-emotional and highly strung. OK for a holiday romance. Not ideal husbands.

Italian men: Like Greek and Spanish, highly strung, can be quite demanding, serially unfaithful, not good fathers and husbands after the novelty has worn off. OK for a holiday romance. However, find a good guy and all is well.

Turks and Arabs: OK for a holiday romance but you wont admit it to your friends. Often violent, Muslim culture incompatible, will hump a hole in a tree given a chance – any hole is a goal! Not husband/father material.

Africans: That isn’t really happening unless a “see what is like” casual hump that is kept pretty secret. Many Russian, American and European guys will eschew women they know slept with an African or other non white. Many guys who enter this endeavour are very right wing.

Is The Planet Love Match Dating Site a Good Deal?

Planet Love Match: Some Ukrainian girls on an international dating site that *might not* be marriage minded? Gosh. That never happened before. Hold the front page! We must alert the church elders.

Guys who don’t know their arse from their elbow wont be marrying a woman from the FSU anyway. Those who *do* know their arse from their elbow, and seek a wife, will be seeking out more suitable women for their purposes. What many men overlook is that some guys are happy to pay to chat to some hot teenager in Odessa for an hour or two. That’s all they need. Blokes who do know their arse from their elbow can use almost any site and flush out the decent prospects. All that remains then is choice, functionality, tools available and price. PLM is doing well on those fronts.

Can you meet a scammer, pro dater or pro webcam girl? For sure. Could you maybe meet your future wife? For sure. A good site can be all things to all people. Some blokes seriously seek a wife and a proper relationship. Other blokes seek an evening with the hand cream and the Kleenex. A site has no method to determine which user is which.

Remember, this is an international site. That means there is all types of motivations to be found. No site can supply pure and certificated 19 year old virgins hoping to hump Iowa blokes in their fifties. They don’t exist any more. No site can guarantee motivation of the women. What a big site that is well-marketed can do is provide the spectrum of women: marriage minded ones who dream to live in Kansas right through to Odessa teenagers who may satisfy the odd late night fantasy – and everything in-between. All you have to do is sort the wheat from the chaff. Identify the niche you want and use the site tools to drill down to that.

What a site can do is verify that the women are indeed women, and provide communication tools. Beyond that, at this price, you are pretty much on your own. If you cant be on your own and confident of getting it right, I know a Russian chap will be only too pleased to guide you towards a woman who declares love over Skype in exchange for a brick of $20 bills and a plane ticket to hold your hand whilst there. Others will sell you access to a social or a tour for another brick of cash.

There is no right or wrong way. There are merely service providers that offer different services and sites that offer different functionality and price plans. The punter chooses the route that best suits him. Many of the detractors on this topic are merely people for whom the PLM business model is not suitable. That doesn’t make it a bad model; rather, one that is simply not suitable for them, but may be suitable for many others.

Can you speak to real women in the FSU moments after signing up? Yes.
Will they all be marriage minded? No.
Will some be marriage minded? Yes.
Is it expensive to use? No.
Can you exchange contact information freely? Yes.
Are there translation facilities? Yes.
Are there Webcam facilities? Yes – in HD.
Is there live site help? Yes.
Are these “agency” women, or women at home? All kinds of women from everywhere.
Really, do you need much more? Use your common sense, don’t chase unattainable fantasies and think with the big head is all you need to do. Go look around Planet Love Match today – your ideal girl may be from Kansas, Kentucky, London, Moscow or Berlin. Planet Love Match spans the world. Don’t be left behind.

The Importance of Good English When Communicating with Foreign Women

Whilst some foreign women are open to the idea of foreign guys, the language issue is a major hurdle to overcome. Many Russian and Ukrainian women surf the internet seeking foreign guys on forums and such in search of them.

However, the thought of a group of foreign guys discussing them en masse is a bit of a turn off for many. Many think some of the conversations are not entirely tasteful or respectful. At least, that’s the feedback I have had.

People on internet forums speak casually, with many errors and with much slang, it is not an ideal place to practice or develop English. There are also many variants of English language (and spellings) here from across the world. Occasionally, Aussies must translate something for the Brits; or the Brits for the Yanks, etc. How does a non-native speaker go on unless they are beyond fluent? And few are.

Our sharp humour and side-splitting repartee (where it exists) seldom translates literally; rather, it requires interpretation. Software cannot interpret; only people can. So the women who read here using a translation programme often read gobbledygook where the English variants, grammatical and spelling errors, slang and second meanings form a jumble of words that are far from what was intended by the respective authors.

Can bad English damage your communications?

It can. Many people try to cobble together a relationship with poor communication fuelled by free software translation. Software makes many errors; but more importantly, software is only as good as what you put into it.

As many will know, my wife does a lot of translation for guys in this pursuit. A few weeks ago, a guy sent her something for translation that she read, and read again, and much of it made no sense to her. The reason? No paragraphs, little punctuation or capitalisation and atrocious spelling and grammar.

She asked me if I would mind running quickly through it with a spell check, putting in a few paragraph breaks, and correcting the big howlers and try to turn it into something in a few minutes that she could comprehend. I did, and from that, she was able to make it in Russian, be what it was intended to be.

Missing punctuation leads to much ambiguity; meaning that one must ask the author what they meant, rather than it being clear in the first place. Get the punctuation right and the message (not to mention the translation) will be clear. Here is a good example of how altering punctuation can change the meaning:

A woman without her man is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.

I guess the point of the topic is to highlight to guys the importance of using the best English you are able to, when in communication with Russian, Ukrainian and FSU women.

Thinking About a Russian or Ukrainian Woman? Get The Russian Bride Guide.

A beautiful, slim, good-hearted woman as a wife is just a dream for most men. How hard is it to marry one from your country? An educated one? One with good traditional family values? One who doesn’t think she is god’s gift? One a few years younger than you? Very difficult. Russian, Ukrainian and FSU […]

The Russian “Mail Order Bride” Industry in 2011/12

The so-called “mail order bride” industry, which primarily is focused on Ukraine, and secondly Russia, has been changing in recent years. The days of American guys rolling up in any Russian or Ukrainian city, flashing a US passport and being swamped in model-quality girls are long gone. This is 2011, not 1991. Women are not desperate to leave any more.

Men seeking a Russian or Ukrainian wife need to understand the dynamics of the society they delve into. Men fixated on the idea of importing a model-quality wife, twenty-five years younger than themselves are likely heading for disappointment. It has passed into internet folklore the “fact” that any obese, older guy can snag himself a super sexy Eastern European wife with little more to offer than his country of residency and his wallet. He can still do that as long as he accepts that the marriage will likely not last longer than the time it takes her to get a green card or permanent residency in his country.

The sensible guys nowadays need to accept their limitations. This does not mean that a guy cannot delve into Eastern Europe, if he knows what he is doing, and end up with a well-intentioned and beautiful wife. He can. But occasionally, reality checks are in order.

I was recently communicating with a British man who had made over thirty trips to Ukraine in search of a wife. After several years, and all these trips to Ukraine, he is still wifeless. No good prospects on the cards either. In these circumstances, we must examine not only him, but what he is looking for, and ascertain if it is realistic.

The gentleman in question is in his fifties, and has one or more ex-wives in the UK. He has a number of children; some of whom are either resident with, or spend significant time with him. One of these children has some type of special needs requirement. He is a nice guy; intelligent, witty and personable from what I can make out. He is affluent enough to afford the whole foreign wife endeavour (which many men are not).

What is he seeking? A large breasted, yet extremely slim and very beautiful woman in her twenties; that is twenty to thirty years his junior. Is that realistic? No. Here was my advice to him:

Your situation isn’t what local women seek to embrace; they already eschewed it. Why would a two decade younger, beautiful one, with a large chest from a poor country embrace it? Times are a changing. Desperation is fading. Your lack of success is testament to that. A reality check is needed. Late 30’s and early 40’s is the group you should be looking in. Perhaps with a kid or two.

My advice was not well received.

What many men in a similar position fail to realise is that desperation in these countries is fading. Finances are improving and women are less likely to choose self-export via marriage as a life choice as that happens. This is underlined by the fact that the “mail order bride” industry pretty much doesn’t exist any more in the affluent corners of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and proliferates in the more impecunious corners. Scamming also proliferates in the impecunious corners as desperation breeds corruption and dishonesty.

As proof of this, if we look at some FSU countries, we will see that the “mail order bride” industry has vanished altogether. In relatively affluent Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic, women are not seeking self-export via marriage as a life choice. There is not a single foreign-facing marriage/dating agency in Estonia any more. There hasn’t been for a decade or more.

Compare that to Ukraine. Ukraine is still bristling with foreign-facing dating and marriage agencies; new ones are opening every day (the honesty of many of these is open to question but that is not the subject here). Russia still has many agencies based there, but fewer in the more affluent corners like Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In Russia, the agencies reside in places that fewer foreigners venture to. Places like Rostov, Samara, Togliatti (Tolyatti), Vladivostok and Barnaul.

The link between women’s desire to export themselves and average income is an undeniable fact.

On the other side of the coin, I was recently communicating with an American man who also complained about his lack of success in the Eastern European dating arena. He told me:

I am good looking, healthy and relatively young. I have a good job and make good money. I know how to treat women very well. I am enjoyable to be with. I am interested in starting a family and having children.

Most women on learning this will think, “What’s wrong with him then?” and will muse on why he can’t find a woman at home. They simply will not believe the accounts given by Americans of the bad dating environment in the US; the “entitlement” attitude they encounter, and the subsequent lack of availability of appropriate and slim women.

His “benefits” of being young, in good shape and of a normal state of mind may actually work against him in some circumstances. I would be inclined to explain to the women I wrote, in a very careful manner, why I was seeking a woman from abroad if in his shoes (without disrespecting my local women). Its like sales training for those that ever had it; overcome the customer’s objections before they are even raised. Marketing oneself long-distance to women is a skill that takes honing and development.

The introduction letter is a vital tool; a first impression that cannot be left to chance. One must hire a competent Russian interpreter and translator to help craft and hone your introduction letter. Preferably a female one, as women understand the target market: Women.

Understanding the society you are delving in is also essential. You cannot rely on the twaddle written on dating sites. Russian dating sites are geared up toward telling you what you want to hear. They will wax lyrical about how these ladies “love to make cosy home” and “love to cook tasty meals” – which may be true sometimes. But not all the time. You will find the same guff written on the profile of many “professional daters” (scammers to you), often from Odessa or Kiev, who entertain a different foreign guy each weekend, and have a Prada and D&G fetish. Preferably at your expense.

To get to the real facts about a Russian or Ukrainian wife, and how, in 2011/12, you can find one, you need to educate yourself. This means learning from those who have spent much time in the former Soviet Union; and who are in a cross cultural marriage already.

The road to a beautiful Russian or Ukrainian wife is still possible to travel; but you must enter the arena educated and with a good idea in advance of what is possible and what is not.

The “mail order bride” industry is changing. Marriage agencies are not the future. As Russian and Ukrainian women embrace the internet at home, social networks are the way forward. Sites like Planet Love Match have recognised this already and are responding to the changing environment. Mix the dating site together with a social networking site, in both languages – brilliant but simple.

Foreign dating is changing. Get ahead of the curve by educating yourself.

Stuart J. Smith is the co-author of the Russian Bride Guide: How to meet, court and marry a woman from the former Soviet Union. He has guested on many radio shows on the “mail order bride” subject. He runs the busiest Russian women information discussion forum on the internet today.


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