|On the cover|
Tunnelling Towards Hope
|28 February - 6 March 2014|
A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels
With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard – and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.
When Walls Can Talk
People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.
Getting a Grip on Sex Tourism in Kyiv
Ask a foreign man of a certain type what he knows about Ukraine and you might get various unexpected answers, but there’s one predictable one – Ukrainian women. Yes, he’ll say, they’re beautiful and smart, but they’re also easy to get. Hence Kyiv’s growing reputation as a sex-tourism mecca. What’s On looks into a strange phenomenon.
Besides being the capital of the independent state of Ukraine, Kyiv’s more and more a capital of prostitution and sex tourism (not to mention pornography), picking up right where other former Eastern Bloc cities like Budapest and Prague left off.
And it turns out that a full 90 percent of prostitutes working in Kyiv
are girls who come to the big city in search of a better life. “Female students tend to be potential prostitutes, especially those who come from elsewhere in Ukraine,” says Anna Hutsol, head of the local women’s rights advocacy organisation Femen. “They come to Kyiv, they get attracted by the glossy world here with its expensive cars, restaurants and boutiques. They lose their minds over it and they want it by any means necessary. As the cliche goes, where there’s a will there’s a way, and the way here comes in the form of those growing numbers of men who come to Ukraine from all over the world, apparently under the impression that here they can put absolutely the minimum effort into getting the maximum pleasure.”
There are several ways to get that pleasure. The easiest one is to buy a sex tour. Says Hutsol, “There are numerous sex tours to Holland, Germany, Thailand and, yes, Ukraine. What’s more, Ukraine seems to have the advantage among the countries on that list. First of all, if you compare it with Thailand, Ukraine’s location is good, it’s in Europe. You don’t need a visa to go to Ukraine. Everything looks nice and simple.” Such sex tours are extremely popular, and when you see some non-Ukrainian looking man chase a Ukrainian woman down the street with a big smile on his face, yelling at her to stop in broken English, he might very well be on one. Kyiv’s leftover Soviet-looking three-star hotels are often where these men stay when they’re here. A guy named Boris, who works as a security guard in one of those hotels, says, “I don’t know the appropriate name for what’s going on, but what should I think when three buses full of Turkish tourists come to the hotel, and other buses are bringing girls?” (He agreed to talk to me only under the condition that I not print his last name or the name of the hotel.)
Not everything is so well-organised, of course. The next variant for lovers of local women is good old-fashioned sex-hunting. Here an ex-pat has to put in some effort if he wants to get himself a piece of Ukrainian pie. He isn’t necessarily looking for a prostitute, but he is looking for affection to rent. “These guys don’t need prostitutes, they want good girls who are in school or working,” says Hutsol. One of these ‘good girls’ is my acquaintance Zhanna, 21, a student. She has affairs with ex-pat men but doesn’t consider herself a prostitute or even easy to get. “I have a lot of ex-pat friends and boyfriends,” she explains. “I like to spend time with them. It’s not a question of sex and money, it’s different. If the guy spends money on me and pays my bills but is a great person at the same time, should I call myself a prostitute because I accept his help?” she says. “If you want to broaden your circle of friends with international ones, just take a walk in the city centre or visit one of the right restaurants.” And just as she would never call what she and many of her friends are doing prostitution, she says that the men she deals with never call themselves johns.
Is there something wrong with dating an ex-pat? Seeing couples consisting of foreign men and Ukrainian girls walking together, the second, if not the first, thought that pops into many people’s heads is that she’s a typically mercenary Ukrainian girl and he’s a typical sex tourist. There’s one couple I know, Olha (Ukrainian) and David (Swiss). He comes to Ukraine on business from time to time. Olha, as he describes it, is his “semi-regular girlfriend,” which is a slightly peculiar formulation, if you think about it. He’s 49, divorced, has two children and isn’t going to marry again. “I like Olha, I like to talk to her, she’s a nice woman,” he said about his relationship with Olha. She says she doesn’t consider herself a prostitute, but some of her friends do, she admits.
Take such stories, multiply them by a couple of thousand, and you have a country that might start to acquire a certain reputation. And not all Ukrainian women are thrilled with being considered prostitutes by people in Western Europe or Turkey or the Middle East. Hutsol’s group, Femen, has been holding actions meant to dramatise that Ukraine is not really a seething den of prostitutes. Its ‘Ukraine Is Not a Brothel’ protest on Independence Square in July featured Femen’s young members carrying signs, dressed like women of the night in a provocative way and staging a mock sexual assault of a young woman by an aggressive sex-pat. “You know, the idea of legitimate sex tourism really doesn’t exist,” Hutsol says. “We want our government to understand that fact and take measures, like close brothels and reconsider the policy for issuing Ukrainian visas. And Ukrainian women should learn to say no and also learn how to behave themselves appropriately.”
There’s another solution to the illicit sex-tourist trade being bruited about – the legalisation of prostitution. Vitaliy Klitschko, Ukrainian boxing legend and twice candidate for Kyiv’s mayoralty, supports legalisation, preferably before the Euro 2012 football championship brings hordes of foreign men to Kyiv. What’s interesting, though, is that many people who would seem to be in the constituency to legalise it are against it. A former militiaman told me, “I’ve known prostitutes and pimps, and you know what? Prostitutes are absolutely against legalisation. Who needs to be labeled a prostitute officially? Legalisation leads to lower prices, and therefore demand gets higher. It means the same income but more prostitutes on the street. Doesn’t sound so good, does it?” Call it the free market in action.
The last thing worth mentioning is that prostitution in Ukraine is an administrative crime and someone who’s guilty of committing it is supposed to pay a fine of a mere 17-60 hrv. In the eyes of the law, meanwhile, men get off easy, too. “Men aren’t responsible for anything,” Hutsol says. In other countries, by comparison, there’s a “criminalisation of the client” law, which means that a prostitute’s actions aren’t considered criminal, but the john’s are. It might not be a perfect solution, but at least it’s something. And until Ukraine’s society and government acknowledge that Ukraine has become a sex and porn mecca, and take action, the problem will continue to develop until this city has the same in-your-face sex trade that Prague has. But what can you do? “It’s just that Ukraine has that sort of image,” says Hutsol. “Ask any foreigner and he’ll tell you that Ukrainian women are cool.”
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|martino | 23.03.2015 11:49|
This is very interesting article.
There is no official Red-light district in Kiev. Some people say that the whole city of Kiev is a one huge red-light district as most girls are beautiful and easily approachable by wealthy foreign men.
By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Amsterdam red light district, you should check out Kiev Prostitution Guide
Have fun! and be safe!
|Martin O | 23.03.2015 11:47|
This is very interesting article.
There is no official Red-light district in Kiev. Some people say that the whole city of Kiev is a one huge red-light district as most girls are beautiful and easily approachable by wealthy foreign men. You can read more from the Kiev Sex Tourism Guide: http://www.wikiadult.org/wiki/Kiev
Have fun! and be safe!
|Tony | 30.03.2014 21:32|
The main thing about escort agency is providing great girls for sex. This is what they do. And Kiev Escort Agency should work with only the best girls, because Kiev is full of beautiful women and only the best ones deserve to serve for men’s pleasure.
|bill | 21.08.2013 00:35|
I went to Ukraine to meet a 30 year old women.My motive was not sex.I just wanted to meet a decent person and she is.I have compassion for people and I know a lot of Ukraine women struggle financially especially when they have a child with no support from the absent father.
I am going to help her financially for the rest of her life.I am not a fool and I expect nothing in return.In fact when I come to the end of my life I know i will be proud that I took away human suffering.That is my reward.
|KN | 15.08.2013 02:23|
I'm a Asian.I can speak Russian a little but not Ukrainen.Can girls who stand aside a road and want to prostitute usually understand Russian?
I have one more question. Do they know the safe place to sex?(In the car is best?)
|cr | 05.05.2013 08:15|
The Men WHO come to Ukraine are sick perverts searching for a 1minute pleasure. Everything is about how to satisfy a dick. Any life goals just dick.
|Kharkov Escorts | 14.02.2013 14:38|
Most beautiful and wanted escorts of Ukraine are here in Kharkov! See our site - http://kharkovelite.escortfiles.com/
|Marina Girl | 27.07.2012 21:47|
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|del | 12.05.2012 21:04|
American women are extra difficult to approach and very picky,there is an astonishing number of lonely men in america.Women have a clear advantage over men in sex matters and in a certain way have no respect for men anymore.So sometimes i wonder whats wrong with going somewhere where it is the opposite?Since women are such bitches why are men suppose to feel bad about doing things like that.
WELL SAID .. Too many female ( usually fat and ugly ) spoiling all the fun ... there is no fun now ... Many western men cannot even get a date in their own country ... unless you want to date a disgusting sack of cellulite .. GO WHERE THE FUN IS BEFORE YOU DIE !!!!
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|Jimmy | 10.11.2011 22:09|
All my American woman friends are gay!!!Whoa there don't get the wrong idea. They are smart and very beautiful. So why go Ukarinian or Chinese as a matter of fact they tend to last longer in a marriage.....cheers
|Marfa | 06.10.2011 21:52|
Shame!!! Ukrainian government must stop this terrible condition. Unfortunately, there are few lazy females, who do not bother to study and grow. Foreign guys, come on! They are simply sluts or prostitutes. You have the same in your countries, but may be less attractive. Any educated and high class Ukrainian woman won't ever look at foreigner's side since we have a lot of really brilliant men here. Don't be naive! Also Ukraine is beautiful country with terrific nature and awesome culture. It is really that why you should visit this country.
|Ukie | 25.09.2011 08:41|
bunch of sick ppl in commemts. Femen rules!
|Bob | 24.09.2011 01:27|
Darkness, Flames and The Screams of My Soul
A Drink to Go with the Food
EuroMaidan – Celebrities Weigh In
Pro and Anti
|Rights We Didn’t Know We Had
Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they don’t understand the meaning of these words.
| Kyiv Culture|
Located on Hrushevskoho Street – the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades – children’s favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. What’s On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.