The men who go to looking for a wife then fly home alone and broke

ukraine-dating-scams-alertBy: Shaun Walker, The Guardian, Sunday 6 April 2014 14.00 EDT

Ukraine’s internet romance industry is booming – despite the unrest. But after chatting online, travelling to Odessa and wooing women on flashy dates, most men fly home alone and far poorer. Are they unlucky in love, or have they been scammed?

These are trying times for Odessa. After the annexation of Crimea, pro-Russian forces are stirring tension in this Black Sea port, and there are weekly standoffs between demonstrators who want to be part of Ukraineand those who want closer ties to Russia. But for all the political and economic chaos that has engulfed Ukraine in the past three months, one industry is still thriving: the internet romance trade.

The economies of several Ukrainian cities are boosted by the surreal and disingenuous online bride business, and Odessa is the biggest hub. It does not take long for a visitor to the ci