‘Russian Bride Guide’ by Stuart J. Smith and Olga Maslova. Scruton Publishing. ISBN978-09556874-0-2. ‘How to meet, court and marry a woman from the former Soviet Union’
You pick up the book and there she is…the author herself, Olga Maslova, in a stunning mini-skirt, black bra and fake fur coat. She is half-standing in a packaging container saying: ‘made in Russia’.
You stare at her for a second or two. She is stunning, beautiful. Yes, Olga Maslova is indeed a fantastic Russian woman. ‘How to meet and marry a woman from the former Soviet Union,' the blurb intones - and you turn the book over to read the back cover.
‘A slim sexy wife from Russia or Ukraine? Is it possible?’ The back cover asks rhetorically. ‘If you want a beautiful Russian wife, you need to educate yourself first. This book is the ultimate guide to success with Russian and Ukrainian women... The authors have helped many men find their dream woman. You could be next!’
Phew! Let’s get our breath back. Actually, there’s a lot of useful information in this book for those considering marrying a Russian bride. This book pulls no punches on the potential costs (which could easily run into several thousand dollars) and the potential pitfalls. It has useful sections on how to spot the tell-tale signs of professional scammers, daters and cheats, of which there are far too many in the trap-laden world of international and inter-continental dating.
There is also a lot of common-sense advice, like getting the introduction agency out of the way as quickly as possible, and communicating directly with the woman you have found via internet, SMS messaging or phone calls.
There are further sections with advice on what to say in your first letter to your potential Russian girlfriend, and dealing with the mass of paperwork and form-filling involved in bringing a wife from the former Soviet Union to your country.
But despite the plethora of addresses of free translation software and websites with lists of known Russian bride scammers, and contact details of companies who can provide you with a visa to Russia, you could still follow all the advice in this book and end up several thousand dollars the poorer and without a Russian bride.
That’s because finding a Russian bride is a massively uncertain process - particularly if it involves the internet - and even if you follow all the rules, your potential Russian wife could still change her mind five minutes before her flight to come to your country to start a new life.
But there is an even more profound reason why this book is ultimately mistaken. And that is, that in my opinion, having seen so many apparently solid marriages between Russian women and English men fall apart, in my opinion it’s a mistake to even attempt to marry a Russian woman at all. In my experience, marriages between English men and Russian women have about an 80 per cent failure rate over the long term.
And of course, it is the long term which really matters. (I note with interest that according to this book the authors themselves have only been married about three years.)
In my opinion, anyone thinking of marrying a Russian bride should ask themselves why they can’t find a woman in their own country - and if possible address those impediments and seek a woman locally. It’s much cheaper - cheaper by far. And if you really have some glaring defect which can’t be remedied, do you really think a Russian woman will continue to put up with it, after she’s qualified for indefinite leave to remain in Britain?
So my advice is to forget all about marrying a Russian bride. I really mean this. Sit down in front of the mirror and do something about whatever it is you see that’s stopping you from finding a woman in your own country. Maybe you’ve just got to adjust your expectations, and settle for a woman who is as plain, as poor, or as unappealing as you are. But that’s still better than spending a lot of money to import a Russian woman into this country who’s going to run away from you as soon as she gets indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
And for those of you who really think the risks don’t apply to them, who are bewitched by the idea of marrying an exotic Russian or Ukrainian lady with high cheekbones and long legs, or even a black bra and a mini-skirt and fake fur like the co-author of this book - then this book is compulsory reading.
Study it carefully and use its reasoning well; and if you’re really lucky you might still be living together in Britain in five years’ time - if you’re one of the lucky 20 per cent.
(To which the author replied on 14th May 2010)
Oh dear, oh dear. You give a profoundly flawed book a generous review and what happens? The author puts a link on your discussion board back to his website…
Perhaps I was too kind to this book, that the author didn’t really grasp where I was coming from. So I’ll try and be a bit clearer this time, so there can be no further misunderstanding.
Before I go any further though, I just want to point out that this book has many technical deficiencies, many boring passages which don’t really bring anything significant to the whole. There are also a number of infuriating typesetting mistakes which betray the amateurishness of the self-published author.
But none of these things really matter (nor incidentally whether Ms Maslova’s coat is real fur or not.)
What matters is that - at least in my experience - it’s a terrible mistake to marry a Russian bride. I’ve seen so many Anglo-Russian marriages fall apart, so many apparently happy couples split up - and not one of those Russian women went back to Russia to live; they all stayed in the UK, but with a new lover who was younger, better looking or richer.
But of course, Stuart Smith and Olga Maslova are hardly likely to accept all this - are they? For they are running a business advising English men how to marry a Russian bride. They are peddling the myth that it can work out if you do it their way, if you buy their book, if you visit their discussion board, if you get a bride from their Russian brides website, it’ll all work out.
The simple truth is that Stuart Smith and Olga Maslova are making money from bringing western men and Russian women together. So they’re hardly likely to be objective about the chances of its all working out in the long term, now are they?
I’m really pleased Stuart Smith and Olga Maslova are still together by the way. I accept that sometimes marriages between English men and Russian women do work out, especially if the Russian woman works - as she seems to do in this case, albeit in a rather unusual way.
But I come back to my main point, that Stuart Smith and Olga Maslova are not unbiased and independent observers; that they have a deep financial interest in suggesting it is a good idea to go in for these international marriages - an idea that I profoundly disagree with - though fortunately my knowledge is based on the many friends I had who found themselves in this situation, rather than having been through it myself.
21st June 2010
A note about the links the authors of 'Russian Bride Guide' have inserted on my discussion board - by Christopher Coin
This really was quite out of order. It's terrible manners to use other peoples' discussion boards to insert links back to your site - without consulting the board administrator first.
However I have decided not to remove these links. If you go to the discussion board and read the original version of Stuart Smith's article, you can still click on them.
That's because I think they take you to a fascinating place - Stuart Smith's whole attitude towards Russia and Russian women. If you click on the link he inserted on my discussion board, you will be taken to a chat room about the front cover of his book. From there it's only a hop and skip to the home page of his website 'Russian-Ukranian Adventures' which he claims is the busiest website and discussion forum for Russian dating.
And what do you find there? Numerous advertisements for dating agencies featuring young Russian women in various stages of undress. But what sort of person would allow java-scripted images of Russian girls waving their legs in the air at you?
The fact is, the home page of 'Russian-Ukrainian Adventures'
says much more about his values that I ever could. Would you
seriously trust the judgement of a man who sees nothing wrong with
having images of young Russian women lying on beds on the front
page of his website? Is he ever likely to give you a genuinely
independent and dispassionate view of the chances of you making a
relationship with a Russian woman work in the long term? I leave it
to you to form your own opinion...