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For months, he'd been spamming the profiles of thousands of random Ukrainian women in a virtual quest to find a wife, chatting up whoever would respond with the help of Google Translate.But the moment he got his first message from Chumakova, asking why he'd friended her, he knew his search was over."I just had a feeling," Ewald said."As corny as that sounds, of all the girls I friend requested and messaged, even after the first online conversation something stood out about her." When he met her in person in Ukraine just a few weeks later, they were "inseparable."Last Monday, he flew to Ukraine to bring Chumakova back to the U. They just passed an interview at the American Embassy for Chumakova to get her fiancée visa and are waiting for it to arrive in the mail."Then we can buy tickets to travel back to america! So far, though, theirs is something of a success story for this new subsection of the international dating scene.The "romance tours," where schlubby middle-aged American divorcees pay thousands of dollars to meet these leggy blondes in Ukraine or Russia, are But some men have grown wary of the industry that promises them lifelong happiness with a woman from the economically-depressed country of their choice.They complain that the agencies are corrupt, and more interested in making money than matches."I'm not interested in any one of them."Welcome to the new online meat market for schlubby American men to score young Eastern European brides.*** Stephen Ewald, a 40-year-old accountant from Michigan, met his fiancée — a 24-year-old Ukrainian named Alina Chumakova — on VKontakte in 2009.
"She decided to go gay on me," Ewald told me in his sharp midwestern accent.
As Eastern Europe undergoes a debate which Russian social networks have the best women, and the best way to pick them up: "If you go to one of the many group dedicated to foreign languages or foreign countries, there will be plenty of single, young attractive women, and your success rate will be much, much higher," explains one.
And Russian news reports have apparently warned of the influx of "creepy foreign men" onto social networking sites.
"What happened is the advent of all these online travel sites put a lot of pressure on these traditional models, with people going online and booking their own flights," he said.
"The internet cuts out the middleman and the agency is the classic middleman."A more ominous explanation for the shift would be the passage in 2005 of the International Marriage Brokerage Act.