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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.
In contrast, Ukrainian men hardly ever message her—"it's not in [their] nature."But the messages she receives, she said, are invariably dull.
"Standard compliments, inviting to visit them," Galugan said.
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.
Thanks to Google Translate, they no longer need the expensive translation services provided by many agencies.
And not only are they cheaper, the men believe cruising social networks where "normal" foreign women hang out is a more authentic experience than a matchmaking agency's website.
VKontakte, the most popular Russian-language social network.