Wages are low here, many women want to leave Ukraine.

Dreams of foreigners, sex tourists and boring grandmothers: how Ukrainian women have fun.
People keep talking about how women have fun all over the world. Earlier we talked about women in Northern Europe. Scandinavia is seen as a model of gender equality for the whole world. Even tolerant Europeans, people in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark seem too independent. They often offer flowers to their lovers and ask them out themselves. This time we will talk about Ukrainian women. Some of them lie on deckchairs, sip champagne in expensive resorts and fill Instagram with colorful pictures, others - go to the countryside on kebabs with their family and friends. Many dream of marrying a foreigner, traveling to neighboring European countries in search of money and love. While European feminists are trying to share even male tasks with their wives, Ukrainian wives are increasingly pushing foreign wives under the thumb.

Stereotypes, Borscht and Instagram

"Stereotypes about Ukrainian women are completely false. To begin with, almost half of them have never cooked borscht," 23-year-old Daria, who moved to the Crimea five years ago, told our reporter. She studies finance at university and dreams of moving to Europe in the future. Many of her friends have already taken part in all kinds of internships and studied on exchange in different EU countries. According to her, a few years ago she didn't even have a passport. Everything changed after the Europeans abolished visas for Ukrainian citizens. They could now travel freely to different countries for the weekend.

"Many of my girlfriends book accommodation in hostels or shared apartments, buy cheap plane tickets or travel by bus. They see sights, hang out, go to parties. In general, they are no different from ordinary European women," she explains. As for the elderly, they fall into several categories, as in all former Soviet republics. The broadest is that of married women.

Ukrainian women, like Russians, like to look for the roots of American and European stars in their country. Some stars of Ukrainian origin are very well known, others, like Liv Tyler, have few links with Ukraine.

Some of them have been successful in their careers. Ukrainians are proud that their country has given the world many famous actors who now work in Hollywood. "When it comes to celebrities of Ukrainian origin, they immediately remember the grandmothers of Odessa in the family of Sylvester Stallone, Liv Tyler, Steven Spielberg, Lenny Kravitz, Dustin Hoffman, Chuck Palahnik, are proud of the achievements of Mila Jovovich, Olga Kurilenko, Mila Kunis," says Dasha.

In addition to Hollywood stars, Dasha distinguishes a special group of women politicians, who directly or indirectly influence the life of modern Ukraine. Some envy and imitate them, others idolize or hate them. They became not only independent, but also independent women, respected in the country and in the world.

Wealthy Ukrainian women, who are not in politics or show business, also lead a rather glamorous lifestyle. To have fun, they go with their girlfriends to shop, spa treatments, massages, go to restaurants and cafes. With their families, these women go on vacation abroad. They usually live in the big cities and do not deprive themselves of anything.

"Those who have less money prefer to spend vacations with friends at home, go to the country for kebabs, they prefer to rest in the summer at the country house. Among these ladies, there are those who are not very happy in marriage. Many of them do not work, stay at home and forgive their idle spouses. There are those who have had enough - they are divorced, raising children and usually desperately looking for a soul mate," Oksana, a woman from Kiev, told our agency.


The third type - girls who have seen too much of the luxurious life on social networks, on television and in glossy magazines, and who dream of becoming the wife of an oligarch. There is also a separate category - Instagram users. Some of them can afford to lead luxurious lives, displaying photos in rich outfits, in front of elite resorts and luxury cars. Others, in pursuit of their tastes, rent special photo studios to create a semblance of a beautiful virtual life. They say that the large number of appreciations, followers and comments makes them feel good and reinforces their self-esteem.

Many work moonlighting as bloggers, some make a living from it. Ukrainian women show their subscribers what they do: they take fitness classes, attend all kinds of master classes and trainings, and just hang out. Many of them make full use of the achievements of modern plastic surgery: lips, breasts, buttocks, belly, face - the object of their constant care and the work of expensive doctors.

Blogging moms try to create an image of the ideal family. Household goods companies are happy to pay for advertising on these blogs.

"I'm going to move to London."

Because of the low wages, many women are beginning to look to more financially prosperous European countries. "Wages in Ukraine are much lower than in Russia, for example, so it's not surprising that many want to leave," says Dasha.

In addition, gender inequality plays a role: there are three million more women than men in the country. Alcohol, drugs and other factors have their effect; as a result, many Ukrainians dream of marrying a foreigner.

Unlike their Western counterparts, Ukrainian girls are subject to socio-cultural influences such as caregiving pressures - they are pressured by grandmothers, mothers and girlfriends to enter into a relationship as early as possible. You can go out and meet a friend of your mother's or a friend of your grandmother's who asks you questions in your head: "Are you married? Why?", "Do you even have a boyfriend?", "Don't hang around!". In big cities, the situation changes, but in many parts of the country it remains the same. While in the West these questions are considered taboo and bad, in post-Soviet countries they have become a kind of norm.

Sex tourism in Ukraine

These women who dream of a rich life, but cannot find a well-paying job, begin to provide intimate services. "Men from other countries come to sort out our girls, some for a night, some for life," Alexander complains.

His words are confirmed by information from the International Organization for Migration. In recent years, Ukraine has been, along with Russia, Moldova, Albania and Nigeria, one of the main suppliers of sex workers to European Union countries.
"Many Turkish men used to go to Russia like this, but now they can go to Ukraine for a weekend to have fun," said Ilhan, 43, a resident of Ankara. 

The rise of sex tourism started in Ukraine in 2012 - during Euro 2012. According to the British media, the next wave of this type of tourism is related to the fact that low-cost European airlines have started to serve the country. However, publications prefer to avoid the term "sex tourism", which refers to what happens at wild youth parties with beautiful Ukrainian girls.

Ukraine is increasingly becoming a European Thailand, a place of pilgrimage for sex tourists. Tourist sex workers can be found in restaurants, bars and luxury hotels in Kiev and Odessa.

The media have compared the prices of prostitutes' services. For example, it turns out that in the United Kingdom an hour of sexual services costs about 300 euros, in Poland this amount is half as much, in Ukraine - the amount is ten times less.

Kiev attracts young foreigners with its low prices on food, hotels and alcohol, and sexual services that are cheaper by Western standards. After the abolition of EU entry visas, the flow of Ukrainian women has spilled over into Europe, but there are those who prefer to work in their own country. Some MEPs have even suggested legalizing sex tourism, as it would "offer guarantees of social protection and physical safety, and allow funds to be channeled into the budget".

Daria acknowledges that there have been many Turkish tourists in the country recently - there is no visa regime between countries, and you can enter with internal passports. "You see Turkish men somewhere on Khreshchatyk or Bessarabka - either they are already walking with our women, or they are looking for affordable entertainment. I wish we had investors from Western countries coming here like the Turks do for girls," she laments.

According to Ilhan, an Ankara resident, many Turkish men fall in love with Ukrainian women without looking back and take them with them to their country. They become excellent wives: they quickly master the Turkish language, cook well, raise children. However, some of his European friends complain that Ukrainian wives are very tender and affectionate at first, and then, after their marriage, they start giving them orders.

"It's hard to imagine that anywhere in Western Europe wives start telling you what to wear or how to wear it. They respect the fact that their husbands are adults. Ukrainian wives, on the other hand, are very controlling. They may, for example, say, "Take off that ugly tie immediately, or I won't go anywhere with you," admits the Turk.