Kerson And the Ukrainian Bride Business

Kherson is an industrial port, hard hit by the 2022 Russian invasion and before that economic woes.

The Fregate Hotel

here once enjoyed glory days, when it was once a showcase for foreign visitors during the Soviet  years.

Ukraine is thought to be the number one bride exporter in the world and before the war the Fregate Hotel was where the matchmaking happened.

This was not illicit an sex trade industry- it was a totally above ground, legal business of matchmaking for marriages.

These kinds of events generally happened in the poorer regions of Ukraine. Kherson’s  economic situation was very bleak even before the war and there was a  husband shortage. Ukrainian men suffered from chronic unemployment, alcoholism problems and were sometimes regarded as very chauvinist. Both men and women  were looking for love and soul mates,although on both sides there were stories of sleaze and gold digging.

There  is usually a language . Few here speak English.

The Fregate Hotel in Kherson hosted an event every two months—up to five a year for more than a decade . It was organized by “Foreign Affair” an American agency. Generally up 150 to 200 girls met  30 to 40 men.

Part of the event includes a team of  translators who are called upon to help conversations between the men who speak English and the women, who sometimes speak only Russian or Ukrainian.

At 9:00 p.m., the lights were  lowered, the DJ turned up the dance music, and was disco time. Will anyone find their Prince or Princess Charming tonight??? Certainly not  until the war is over and the wife seekers return.