Tag Archives: Mordinson’s

Olga Reznikova Wants to Help You Find a Ukrainian Wife!

I’ve recommended readers to check out Olga Reznikova’s blog, Discover Ukraine before.  In it she discusses customs and traditions in Ukraine that can help the foreign bride seeker navigate the dating customs in this area of the world.  So it was already a good resource.

Olga Reznikova

I turns out that she gets many questions about dating Ukrainian girls and marriage agencies and she decided to offer consultation services starting at $50.  If Olga can spare you from being a victim of a scammer, bogus agency or green card girl, then I think $50 is well worth the investment.  She can also investigate the legitimacy of agencies and help you arrange flower delivery.  You can read more about the service in one of her recent posts.

Olga has also interviewed Michael Mordinson from the Mordinson’s marriage agency.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Michael when I was in Kharkov, Ukraine on my bride search, so he’s the real deal.  The interview is about 20 minutes but worth checking out.

 

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A Review of Mordinson Marriage Agency

After a couple of years of being out of the foreign bride search, I finally went back abroad.  This time I went to the Mordinson Marriage Agency in Kharkov, Ukraine.

mordinson_office

To provide you with a little bit of history, I started looking for a foreign bride several years ago.  I used websites online that specialized in international dating.  Generally, this approach is well suited for the write many, visit one (WMVO) approach that I initially adopted.  I wasn’t quite the seasoned traveler so it seemed to be too overwhelming to date more than one girl at once overseas.  I made several trips and ended up becoming engaged to a Russian woman (RW) for some time, but the engagement fell apart.

It seemed that a new approach to foreign dating was required and I decided to give the agencies a shot.  Marriage Agencies or Introduction Agencies are services that assemble a database of ladies for you to write to.  The agency provides translation services, apartment rentals and function as de facto tour guides when you visit their city.  Most men are reluctant to use them because a lot of agencies turned out to be lucrative scams, and even if the agency was honest, men would lose a degree of freedom during their correspondence and meeting since personal information and the correspondence tends to be strictly controlled.

What is Mordinson Marriage Agency?

Mordinson has been in the marriage and introduction business since 1999.  Longevity is a good sign in this industry.  They also are a registered business in Ukraine and have contact information on their website (another good sign).  They also enjoy a good reputation among other bride seekers on the internet and that’s what matters the most; how clients rate the agency and would they recommend it.  So you should definitely do your research about any agency that you may be interested in using and get people’s opinions about it.

The agency is being run and managed by Michael Mordinson.  He was more than willing to answer any questions I might have had.  He personally meets the ladies in his office and interviews them before accepting them in his agency.  The ladies are notified that Mordinson is an international agency which means that the male clients are men that live in other countries, so the ladies are aware that they may need to move abroad if they get married at this agency.

Some of Mordinson’s services

Mordinson has a good reputation among foreign bride seekers on the internet but many believe that he’s too expensive for some reason.  Mordinson has an introduction package that covers a 10-day visit for $2,650 which many think is a little pricey.

In my opinion, you have to think about value.  The introduction package includes apartment rental, unlimited translations and dates, transportation to and from the airport and a cellphone that Michael provides you during your stay that you can use to call him at any time if you need anything or if you get lost.  The apartment is pretty spacious but lacks a kitchen.  But fortunately Kharkov is a pretty inexpensive city.  Meals were typically only a few dollars and I wasn’t spending more than $30 each day.  You will still need to cover your own airfare.  For an American, that price can be significant.

I think what sells the service is that there is no limit to how many ladies you can write to and date.  So to get good value, you would have to adopt the write many, visit many (WMVM) strategy.  I think the price also keeps many looky-loos and keyboard romeos from swamping the ladies with attention so the ladies won’t get too jaded and think that you’re a serious man. Also, when your in town, Michael will show you around and give you advice on how to impress the ladies and what they expect, so you might as well listen to him.  You’re paying for his advice too.  Michael seems to be a humble and energetic person and is good company to be with.

The best thing I could say about Mordinson was how fast the translations were completed.  Even fairly lengthy letters were translated within a day and there were often times where I would receive a lady’s reply withing 24 hours after I sent her a letter.  But your mileage may vary.  But it seems the main factor that affects the reply time is the lady herself.  The agency isn’t sitting on the letters and milking the subscription service. So if you ended up subscribing to the monthly translation service ($175) and write to several ladies, you will get your money’s worth!

I’ve always been puzzled about some bride-seekers attitudes about price.  Even if you’re thrifty in this bride search, it will cost more than you think.  But in order for an agency to stay in business, it has to make a profit so that the owner and employees can make a living.  Many men will agree to this sentiment (of course).  But they still complain about outrageous pricing and agencies ripping them off.  To be sure, there will be some sketchy agencies that do this, which is why research is important, but I think Mordinson has a good price structure for now.

The ladies of Mordinson

The agency is exclusive to the area, so they don’t have a large database of ladies which might be bad if you like a lot to choose from, but on the positive side of things, the agency interviews each girl personally and determines if she really wants to be married and is willing to marry a foreigner.  The ladies also don’t seem to be listed anywhere else that I can tell.  I’ve been to other websites looking for women from Kharkov, Ukraine and don’t recognize any Mordinson ladies.

Mordinson seems to have started out in professional photography and it shows.  The photos of the ladies are fantastic.  Some men have expressed skepticism about whether or not studio glamour shots end up being a misrepresentation of the ladies, but I’ve found that I’ve still been able to recognize the ladies in person.  You are just seeing the best of themselves in the photos and they are still quite beautiful when you meet them in person.  I think Mordinson knows what everybody else knows, that men judge women with their eyes and the agency that takes the best photos of their ladies will have the advantage in this market.

It’s not just appearance.  As near as I can tell, the women seem genuine.  The first meeting is usually at a cafe so it’s not an expensive date.  Even during second or third meetings, the ladies aren’t trying to take you to expensive places or shopping sprees.  They are very nice to be around.

What can you expect?

In my case, I took advantage of the unlimited correspondence and wrote to every lady that interested me.  I would say that I received about a 30% positive response.  This is much better than a typical man would get from dating in the US unless he was a pickup artist or an alpha male (celebrity, business man, professional athlete, etc).  I’m more of an average Joe so this seemed to be a good response for me.  Your mileage may vary.

Ultimately, I met about 6 ladies.  This seems to be an ideal amount but you can meet more of them.  There were others I was interested in meeting, but they cancelled.  This happens sometimes–you click with a girl and make plans to visit her, but on the 11th hour she gets sick or gets married or moves to that village with no name where all the grandmothers in Russia and Ukraine live that has no cell phone reception. In fairness, this is a risk when dating internationally, but this seems happen more when dealing with agencies and my trip was no exception.

You’ll spend the first few days of your trip meeting the ladies and use the rest of the trip build a relationship with who you like.  Of the six that I met, about three of them weren’t interested in another meeting with me.  One of them seemed like she really liked me but I couldn’t return her affections.  There ended up being one that seems to like me as much as I like her and I hope we can keep the relationship moving forward.

Basically, it seems if you have realistic expectations, things may turn out well for you, but nothing can be guaranteed since you’ll never know how the girls may feel about you because it’s only letters at first.  It might be worth doing a video conference with the ladies that reply to your introduction letter to see if there is any chemistry before you visit them.  I didn’t use this service, but it might improve your success rate.

Safety

I was in Kharkov during the end of September 2014 and everything seemed peaceful and quiet at this time.  The Russian-instigated rebellion that has been covered in the news has been confined to the southeast of the country while Kharkov is further north.  The American government has opposed Russian activity in the country and the Ukrainians like this so Americans seem to be well received.  Most people I talk to are in favor of a unified Ukraine.

The apartment and the Mordinson office are located about a 10-15 minute walk from the main square (Freedom Square) and is in a gated courtyard that requires a key to enter and it seems to be manned with a watchman.  You will also need a key code to get into the building and a separate key to enter the apartment so the apartment seems pretty safe with these three secure entry points.  I also recall hearing children playing in the playgrounds nearby so I thinK this is a pretty safe area.

It was odd that on the same day I left, a popular demonstration had pulled down the Lenin statue on Freedom Square.  I had walked past this statue several times during my visit and probably took the last pictures of this statue while it was still standing.  It’s a reminder that anything can happen when you travel abroad, but there’s obviously so much anti-Russian sentiment that there won’t be much meddling in this area of Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Anti-Russian demonstrators pull down the Lenin statue on the same day that I left; September 28, 2014

Anti-Russian demonstrators pull down the Lenin statue on the same day that I left; September 28, 2014

I highly recommend the Mordinson Marriage Agency in Kharkov and stress for you to do your research and follow the news carefully when planning your trip to this region.

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Ukraine Watch: Marriage Agencies Are Still An Option!

The crisis in Ukraine seems to have settled into a “Cold War Detente” with both sides not really budging much from their position while a lot of rhetoric is flying around through the media. The Ukraine Travel Warning from the US State Department is still in effect and was what prompted me to suggest that a bride seeker might want to consider Ukraine as too hostile to consider for his bride search last week.

Upon further reflection, if the crisis remains confined to the Crimean peninsula, then looking in Ukraine might be the opportunity that the western bride seeker can capitalize on.  Ukraine’s economy was always lack-luster at best and has taken a turn for the worst in recent years.  The latest crisis was precipitated due to economic reasons and it seemed clear that the leadership lacked the political will to oppose it.  Ukrainian girls are no strangers to the inner workings of their country and how bad things could get, so many of them would likely be open to marriage to a foreign man.  But the latest crisis will do much to convince them that their destiny lies elsewhere and I can see many Ukrainian women being more receptive to foreign men as a result than they ever were since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The only question that remains is, “Is it safe to travel to Ukraine?”

I know of a few marriage agencies in Ukraine, but there is currently nothing on their websites mentioning any conditions or consequences of the latest crisis, so I emailed them to ask about how safe it would be for a bride seeker to visit their agency and what the situation was in their areas.  Bare in mind that I’ve never used these agencies, nor am I saying that these three are an exhaustive list.  But they do enjoy a good reputation among men on the bride search.  You’re encouraged to do your own due diligence before making any decisions.

When I emailed Kherson Girls, one of their matchmakers replied that all was quiet and peaceful in Kherson and she was convinced that the latest trouble was being caused by agitators hired by Russia.

Michael Mordinson from Mordinson’s Marriage Agency in Kharkov replied personally to say that his agency is still open and daily life is proceeding as one would normally expect.  He wishes that the latest crisis can lead to a more democratic and successful Ukraine.

I also contacted Brett Ousley from Kiev Connections in Kiev.  His agency is literally two blocks from Independence Square where people gathered to protest and he says that they are still open and assisting clients and even shops in the area are still receiving shipments and customers.  There was one day where they closed early when some shooting started, but they are open now and willing to help.

Of course they also gave me their sales pitches about what their agencies have to offer and they wouldn’t want their businesses to suffer.  So consider these replies in that context.  But having an ally on the ground to assist you when traveling to a country where things are tense and anything can happen is probably a good move so you might want to be open to paying the extra money and visit an agency to make sure things go smoothly if you are planning your trip to Ukraine.

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