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Answering your letters

An event that has to do with international marriages has happened this week in Russia. Some people didn’t notice it, some were shocked and we got awfully upset. But let me tell about it in details a bit later and now one more letter - to the point.

I'm recently new to your service and I am speaking to a few women. The question I have comes from friends of mine concerning the safety of traveling to the Ukraine or Russia. There are reports of kidnapings of men going over to meet women. How do you address safety issues for men traveling to see these women and how common are safety issues a problem..
Thank You..   Andrew Carchia

Dear Andrew,

Imagine that you've come home after a working day, had supper and sat down in front of the TV set. You are watching your usual favorite programs and certainly news. Sometimes they show horrible things, don’t they? However, you don’t take everything close to heart. You condole, sympathize, get amazed or laugh, but you don’t feel the same feelings that you would feel if everything happened personally to you. You feel safety in your world, where everything is familiar.  
When you come to a strange world, to another country, naturally you feel worried. But think: the citizens of this country, just like you, come home from work every evening, have supper and watch these horrible news. Show me at least one country where everything is always all right? Nevertheless, they will tell you the same: they feel comparatively safe in their country.

I say “comparatively”, because nowadays we can’t speak about “full” or “absolute” safety. There are unexpected things, for instance tsunami.
I want to say that I also shudder in the evening while watching local news.

Every country has many mad, mentally unbalanced people, in fact they can be found everywhere. But after turning off the TV, I don’t think about it and live a full life.

As for the kidnappings (not only of men but also women), these are rare cases here. Sometimes messages come from Arabic countries or Chechnya that a journalist or a diplomat was taken as a hostage for the sake of ransom. But there is war there. And we talk about peaceful countries.

I don’t know if I managed to explain my point of view. The main idea is that there isn’t absolute safety anywhere. And nobody can give you guarantees, as people are not Gods.

So, you shouldn’t ignore the basics of safety, but at the same time you should panic at all.

We had cases when men refused to go to Russia, because we have:
- mafia,
- a lot of explosions,
- terrorists,
- horrible weather conditions.

It is just a collection of myths as well as the film about international marriages that was shown yesterday on the most popular channel in Russia. By the way, they told in this film that about 80 thousands of foreigners come to Russia every year. I think everyone of them has friends or relatives who told him the horrors about Russia. Nevertheless they made their choice.  

Well, actually, this film is just that event I wanted to tell you. Do you remember what I started answering your letters with? So, why did this film shock our women and upset us?

It is not a secret that the topic of international marriages is very popular now. We know this not through hearsay, but through our own experience, ‘cause we regularly meet attention from mass media. BBC, Newsweek, and also many local papers and channels interviewed us as experts.

But disreputable journalists don’t need experts. And that’s just the way the authors of this film acted. They collected all dirty stories that had happened during the last 15 years and showed them to people as habitual stories. The film was shown in prime time. According to their version all marriage agencies are suppliers of slave-trade markets, all Americans steal children, all Englishmen are prudish, Germans are stingy, Scandinavians are inclined to suicide and in general all foreign men that take interest in Russian women are just defective and the like. All these statements were furnished with examples.  

Facts garbling, manipulation with information was so monstrous, but the most terrible thing is that common people, who don’t know about this sphere, were horrified. Some of our women refused to answer letters the next day after the film. Those women who are in the process of getting a fiancee visa rang us panic-stricken and asked for the consultation about family law in America.

It made us very distressed. Women risk everything, leave their homeland, job, friends, family, home. Naturally there is some worry in their hearts, but now some of them even panic. They want guarantees of safety, they are simply frightened.

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