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Anastasia has never offered any services like this.
We offer an opportunity to contact women who are interested in getting married, having a family, finding the man of their dreams. It is not guaranteed by the company.”In the clearest sign yet that the much vaunted “Russian bride” may soon be a thing of the past, Rubasheva says Vesta-Fortune is taking the unprecedented step of exploring the domestic market, which is to say that someday there may not be Russian brides in Russia, just brides. First Dream’s standard operating procedure is to line up meetings between its clients—men, mostly Americans—and scores of Russian-speaking women provided by marriage agencies like Vesta-Fortune or, in Kiev, Darina Elite.
“Volgograd is the diamond,” Bragg says of the shipbuilding backwater known for the horrific World War II battle that took place there. Andrei Aleksandrov, the Moscow director of the Russian-bride Web site Anastasia, says: “When people search for mail-order brides, they sometimes expect it to be similar to buying goods from a catalog.
“Volgograd is wonderful right now.” Bragg rattles off a bunch of other places that most Americans have probably never heard of. They choose a particular listed item and then pay for delivery.
Just a minute, Svetlana.’ But you want to talk to Tatyana, Natalia, Alisia.
So you go to your interpreter and say, ‘I want numbers for Tatyana, Natalia, Alisia. I’m going to dance with Svetlana.’ Your interpreter, she’s working for you.”Some of the men give one another knowing glances or slap some skin. ” “No, Bragg continues: “Now, your interpreters—this is very important: Do not pick an interpreter you are attracted to!
Moscow, far from being the battleground it was fifteen years ago, is a sprawling pastiche of over-the-top nightclubs, world-famous eateries, and five-star hotels. There are shopping malls, fast-food joints, cineples, and Hyundai dealerships—the trappings of an emerging middle class.
These are not good days for Western men looking for love in the former Soviet Union.Rubasheva, who’s been in the business since the early ’90s, recalls when five men just off the daily Delta flight from New York would visit her office looking for Russian wives.Now, with demand tapering off, she gets maybe five a month. Best to head straight for the postindustrial wasteland of Kharkiv or Lugansk, in the east.Bragg, who is not a small man and looks like a Hells Angel with his sunglasses and goatee, is gesticulating wildly, and his voice sounds like a timpani.Downstairs, in the hotel’s basement banquet hall, are seventy Ukrainian women all dolled up and dying to be met. “Big night.” A few of the men check their flies; another asks his neighbor if there’s anything in his teeth. “Now, say Svetlana wants to dance and you say, ‘Svetlana, I’ll dance with you.