Russian Connection SM

Russian Connection SM offers a unique international program for establishing contacts, relationships and marriage with persons from the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), comprised of Russia and the satellite countries of the former U.S.S.R. Most of the contact is with the women of the C.I.S - no doubt some of the finest and most abundant resources of these countries. However men from the C.I.S are also welcome to participate as some women have expressed interest in Russian men as well. A variety of relationship enhancing services are provided in an effort to to make the process understandable, humane, practical, efficient and successful for all involved.

The Russian Connection program has evolved since 1991 folowing democratic reforms in the former U.S.S.R. Refinements have come about as a result of visits and contacts with the C.I.S. and networking with Russian citizens who became part of this cottage industry. A subsequent merger with Video Introductions (established 1977) brought about additional refinements and a greater variety of helpful services.

Why You're In Demand

The reconstruction movement brought about many new opportunities for Russian people. However along with new opportunities came some undesirable side effects. Transitioning from an authoritarian rule toward a more democratic society came at the initial cost of economic hardship, psychological uncertainty, the proliferation of the Russian mafia, and a crumbling health system. Nowhere was this more evident than in the unparalleled decrease in life expectancy among Russian males. In just 4 years from 1991 through 1994, life expectancy for the Russian man dropped 7 years from 64.5 to 57.3 (vs. 73 yrs. for women). Russian experts also cite unhealthy healthy consequences of nuclear and environmental abuse. Coupled with these factors, excessive drinking of many Russian men is a frequent complaint of Russian women. 12 years after Perestroika in one region, a Russian doctor cited a 12 fold increase in male alcoholism (source: S.F. Chronicle 6/29/97). Competition is keen for good Russian men as women outnumber men in Russia 10 to 8.7.

" 'Now we have a very difficult time, inflation and other problems', the 30 year old Moscow actress said... she explained why she joined a Bay Area (Russian Connection) club 'I want to be married for the rest of my life' she said. 'For me, it is not important what country he will live in... it is important that I love my man'. "
- Dan Reed, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 1992

In contrast, Russian women have been exposed to a glamorized view of American men and life in America. Although Hollywood and Madison Ave. have certainly helped to create this romantic image, in numerous ways life really is much better in America. Moreover, American men have become more aware and sensitive to the needs of women (with the acknowledged help of the feminist movement). However, too many of us fall short of the exacting requirements of some American women (tall, handsome, etc.). Nonetheless, we are greatly admired by Russian females who are less influenced by such American prerequisites, and who still consider marriage and family to be paramount values in their lives. Compared to certain aspects of life in Russia, life in America with just an ordinary, good man has many advantages. However, we caution that Russian women may have an exaggerated view of what life in America may be like. We suggest that you attempt to provide a realistic view of who you are and what life in America or another country is truly like, rather than feed into any unrealistic expectations.

It Works Like This

On our web site,, and in the albums in our office, you can review member information and photos of many Russian women (Note: numerous Russian Member Profiles and photos will be introduced on this site soon), and well as a few Russian men who are interested in marrying an American or someone outside their country. To better assess your suitability for one another, there is also a partner compatibility testing process available. You may select up to the number of women allowed on the membership plan chosen. After making selections you can communicate with them through our office by letters and by e-mail if they have access to a computer, and through our translator by phone if they have a phone.

Together with any initial letters, we enclose a copy of your member photo-profile information sheet and any photos or video you want to send. We address the letters in Russian and forward them by airmail. We pay the postage on your letters to Russia (up to 2 a month). For an extra fee we can send letters by registered mail and request a return receipt, or ask for restricted delivery so that the return receipt is signed by the woman to prove that she got your mail. In some areas International Express Mail is also possible.

"Here come the brides - direct from Russia. The trouble with American women say many of (Russian Connection's) clients, is that American women don't appreciate American men. The sentiment of practically every guy over 35 who calls... is 'I cant hang with American women's attitudes and confusion anymore'."
- Steve Wiegand, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 1993

If you decide to visit the women who reciprocate an interest in you, we can arrange a trip and provide the address and phone. We request that you don't ask for the address or phone or provide yours in preliminary contacts before a trip is arranged (see "Why We Don't Sell Addresses" below). Writing letters helps to establish the foundation of a relationship during a period of correspondence - an old fashioned but very effective relationship building procedure, largely neglected in our fast-paced American culture. For the member prefering immediacy, some women are accessible without much or any letter writing if they should have a phone, computer, or e-mail, or if they live in an area where we have a local representative. Please be aware that many Russian women do not have phones or access to a computer.

Why We Don't Sell Addresses

Since the effectiveness of our program is related to the authenticity, availabilty and credibility of the males and females involved, we refuse to sell addresses. This allows us to safeguard contact information for serious members. We do this because:

A) The selling (and reselling) of addresses and the easy procurement of contact information, readily leads to many unknown men with questionable intentions contacting Russian females, thereby reducing the success of serious clients. Letters and phone calls from numerous men who may be neither serious, nor able to consider the prospect of marriage, or even a trip to Russia, can needlessly raise and then crush hopes of these women who openly pour out their hearts in their communications. We do not want to expose trusting, sincere women to married men, manipulators, prisoners, egomaniacs, low investment-low involvement curiousity seekers, or the financially unable. After a few such experiences these women can lose faith in the process and in the sincerity of the men and stop responding.

B) Our system qualifies and limits the number of men participating. As a result the women benefit from a better quality man and the men benefit from less competition. The qualifying (screening) process occurs in two stages. Initially, a membership fee serves to help eliminate men who are not serious about this venture, and allows us to provide personalized services to those men who want better than average results, and can afford a better quality program with a reputable firm. At the next stage, after mutual attraction and interest have been determined, the optional purchase of a trip enhances the man's credibility and reassures the woman that he really will come to visit. At this point you may choose to continue to communicate with the assistance of our office staff or you may contact the woman directly. On written communications routed through the office we will continue to address your outgoing letters in Russian (up to 2 a month) at no extra cost, and of course, 3 way telephone conference calls can continue to be made with the assistance of one of our translators. This process enhances communication, protects you both and improves your results.

C) Our method allows tracking of responses of women to letters and phone calls and helps to identify problem women. Bargain-bassement addresses are no bargain if you get no responses, or you are not alerted to problems other men have experienced.

D) Our method allows us to be aware of your developing situation and offer help if either of you should encounter problems in your attempts to communicate and establish and maintain a relationship. As a result, our members enjoy a high success rate with an ethical firm. Otherwise you're on your own.

How To Start

Fill out your Member Profile and make your selections based upon your review of their Member Profile information, their photos and Partner Compatibility Questionnaires (if you have the compatibility questionnaire membership option). At least one photo of yourself is requested for each woman you want us to contact by mail. Of course some Russian members will be able to view your photo on our web site if they have access to a computer. For local members, V.I. Portrait Studio is housed right in our office if you'd like to include professional photos. In any case, provide a photo that gives a fairly close up view of yourself. Photos of home, children, etc. are fine as long as she gets a photo giving her a fair impression of what you look like now or in the recent past. Don't send only something many years old without identifying it as such or you may both be disappointed when you show up in person.

Seriously consider investing in the partner compatibility testing process and carefully review the questionnaires of members you may be interested in. If the member doesn't already have a questionnaire on file, ask us to obtain it. If you haven't already thought about the these issues, a valid question to ask yourself is: How can I determine if we're compatible during a short trip to Russia, and in her 3 month fiancee visa trip to my country following our engagement? The partner compatibility testing process provides a excellent time saving preparatory tool and is a great short cut in getting to know a lot of important and personal things about someone which may be crucial to the long-term success of a relationship. It reveals a lot of valuable information about a person from the start, allowing you to move on to a more compatible prospect if there are too many important differences between you. You'll learn things about each other that even persons close to each of you may not know, or were afraid to ask. If you do your preparatory homework properly prior to a trip, you'll lessen the chances of marrying for the wrong reasons.

Tips on how to write a letter are included on this site. Along with your letter we send your Member Profile sheet and photos. We can also send a video interview of you. Be honest and open in your communication. Don't exaggerate who you are or what you have, or have unrealistic expectations or demands of her. There's no sense in deceiving her or expecting the impossible, as you'll both eventually have to confront reality anyway. Save a lot of time and trouble by being straight from the start, enabling you to bypass incompatible or unrealistic possibilites and provide a shortcut to finding the person who likes you for who you are.

"A recent opinion poll showed that about 23% of Russian mothers actually want their daughters to marry foreigners to emigrate and avoid Russsian alcoholic men... find out how American womens' princess attitudes they say, are driving American men into the arms of Russian women."
- Leeza Gibbons, "From Russia with Love" (featuring Russian Connection), "Leeza" NBC TV. Sept. 1994

If you're sending us letters to forward, it's best to place each letter in a separate unsealed envelope with your name in the upper left hand corner of the envelope and her name and code in the lower left. Submit letters with your selection list (double check your list to avoid selecting the wrong person).

Please be aware that the mail system in the C.I.S. is poor. Mail is sometimes misdirected or lost. For superior results we suggest you consider having us register your letters at an extra cost, and restricted delivery is also available, which entails getting her signature verifying personal receipt of your letter. We forward and receive the mail. It can take a few weeks to a few months for mail to be received and a reply returned, so please be patient. Of course if they have access to a computer they can reply through our office on-line. We can also express mail (not available in all areas) or e-mail some of these women, and speed things up by phone and include you in a 3-way conference call if they have a phone.

Our experience has been that almost everyone will have someone reciprocate an interest in them. It's more often a case of more positive, encouraging responses that you expected, rather than not enough. After receiving responses from women who are interested in you, further letters and optional compatibility testing will serve to better clarify the degreee of interest and compatibility. And of course phone calls can further greatly enhance communication and mutual interest.

"Forget nuclear disarmament and Yakov Smirnoff. The end of the cold war brought about something much more momentous, according to the Russian Connection brochure... the availability of numerous desirable Russian women with an amazing attraction to American men. The Concord based dating service, part of Video Introductions, provides men with opportunities to meet Russian women."
- Andrew Gordon, Concord Transcript, Feb. 1997

Any initial skepticism on your part usually turns into pleasant surprise and even ecstatic, wondrous disbelief, when you find that the attractive interesting woman who initially was only sort of a fantasy photo on a page, is truly interested in considering you, yes you to be her husband!. Of course through your contacts and assessment you will decide whether or not you want to visit Russia to meet the persons who reciprocate an interest in you, or any persons you may be chosen by. Typically responses received are so encouraging, that it's unusual that a man does not want to go there. If you elect to end contacts with a lady, you're expected to send a polite letter (we pay the postage) explaining why. We don't endorse writing a lot of women only to leave them in suspense after encouraging their responses and feelings, once you've narrowed your selections down to your favorite(s), and decide you're no longer interested in the other women who have responded. If you visit Russia, we arrange airport pickup and return to and from the housing we provide, with a full-time translator-guide to assist you with your affairs. The longer you stay, the better, as you'll be able to meet more women or get more time to get to know the one you like best. A two week visit is the norm but longer visits are also arrranged. There's a 10 day minimum charge on shorter visits.

Meeting Arrangements and Thoughtful Social Protocol

We ordinarily recommend that you consider establishing more than one pre-trip relationship through communication via correspondence, phone calls or e-mail before going to Russia. The idea is to optimize your chances for success and minimize disappointment if your favorite choice doesn't work out or if either of you aren't what you expected. However we can sometimes arrange on the spot introductions through our Russian representatives if you should find yourself in this predicament.

On the other hand if you think that you'd like to meet many women, consider certain aspects of this approach very carefully. Please consider the feelings of someone who may have invested a lot of emotion, expense and effort responding to your overtures. She may have taken the time and trouble to travel several days across the country to meet you. Upon meeting her, don't quickly dismiss her as a serious candidate due to a snap judgment on your part, or too tight of a social agenda. Please don't instantly judge her in this inital meeting based on the superficial glamour-industry criteria so common in American culture. Keep in mind that you'll have to live with her personality, attitude and values long after you may tire of her looks, or her looks are gone.

Give these women the attention and respect they deserve, and please don't trifle with the feelings of these wonderful women who have gone to such trouble to be there for you! We ask that you treat them with dignity and respect and also reimburse them for any substantial expenses. If a woman does not reside in an area where you will stay, she will incur travel and lodging expenses. Although inexpensive by Western standards, this can truly deplete her resources, or be financially impossible without your help. We never want to put a woman in a situation described in a TV news report, in which a woman sold all of her possessions in order to travel across Russia, just to attend a social sponsored by another company where the women significantly outnumbered the men. A typical Russian woman may not have a lot and wages are very low by our standards. Around $58 a month are average wages of Russian people according to a recent report. She may be too proud or embarassed to discuss her financial situation. So be a gentleman and take the lead here. Also, if a woman is coming a long distance to meet you, it is important to get your itinerary establish several weeks in advance. There's nothing much more frustrating for either of you, than to fail to connect due to imporoper advance planning or poor communication.

One-To-One Vs. Group Meetings

It should be noted that we specialize primarily in one-to-one introductions. Group meetings where women vastly outnumber men is not something we want to become involved with. Why? Just ask some of the women who have been exposed to group meetings arranged by other companies. Many will tell you what a humiliating, sad and degrading experience it was. Moreover, some of the women at these gatherings may be there just for the party or some other purpose, with no serious intent. Also due to the group nature of these functions, the woman or women you're interested in will not be able to focus exclusively on you as there are other men there who may be competing for their attention. Some of these women may also be able to afford to wait for the next group of men to arrive, anticipating a better candidate if you don't measure up. Serious relationships resulting from such functions also suffer due to inadequate, or the lack of, advance comunication and understanding of who each other is, as well as the inherent superficiality of this group meeting process. The "meat-market" scene doesn't work well in our country and it doesn't work well in Russia either. If you're serious about a quality relationship based on a well informed decision making process, with a sincere woman who's already made the effort to provide a lot of preliminary information about herself, don't confuse a group party tour lacking prior communiation or sufficient advance understanding of who you each are, as good use of your time and money. Through our system you already know a good deal about each other before your trip and you've have had a chance to develop feelings for each other before your arrival.

Trip Preparation

You'll need to get a passport, travel visa and make the airline arrangements of your choice. We can provide some pointers. Make sure you both have sufficient advance notice of when you'll each arrive, where you will stay, and how you will contact each other. If you want us to prepare a fiancee visa petition if you become engaged, we can provide a packet for the trip with instructions and forms you'll need. Our Russian translator can also help you and your fiancee fill them out while you're there. Going there without knowledge of the fiancee visa complexities and returning without the necessary information and documentation you'll need, is not making best use of your trip and can cause considerable time delays and problems after you get back.


We don't guarantee marriages. However, because of the refined nature of our program and the quality of the men and women involved, most of our members return engaged on their first visit to Russia through our firm and about 75% marry (of all of the engaged women who come to the U.S., a foremost U.S. legal specialist estimates that 70% do in fact marry). On the other hand, compare this to reports about the success rate of some other companies. In a 2/14/00 48 hrs. televison report on Atlanta, Georgia's European Connections, the company claimed that half of their men return engaged. A sales assistant from a California firm estimates that the average man goes on two of his firm's trips before becoming engaged. He also believes that some of the women available through his company, have questionable intentions of marrying the men who come to visit. He feels that the most desirable women can afford to hold out for a better candidate from future prospects if a man doesn't measure up to what they want, since the company repeatedly brings a continuous supply of American men to this same Russian city. He also cites a pattern of some women making requests for money for various needs after the man leaves, and asking men to return for a second visit through this firm before finalizing the acceptance of a marriage proposal. He also cites broken engagements on the part of some of the women who do accept engagement proposals.

It is impossible for us to make certain that all representations by all participants are accurate and most representations are taken at face value. We reserve the right to terminate anyone of we become aware of willful misrepresentation. In contrast, a 6/3/95 Moscow Times article refers to allegations that European Connections' owner knowingly bought and featured photos of unavailable models who were portrayed as prospective marriage partners in their catalogs. And on 5/25/95 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette exposed their Moscow coordinator, described as a "flimflam man par excellence", as a fugitive from U.S. justice after personally bilking numerous persons in the United States.

Some ladies may exaggerate their familiarity with English. The use of translation services is often advisable. Some may not present their language ability accurately out of fear that men won't write or visit. Some of the ladies have very good written English but may not speak as well as they write. Men who handle this situation sensitively can foster a receptive attitude and gain respect from these beautiful women who are so eager for the chance to participate in this program. Clarification of this issue early on represents a great opportunity to offer assistance. We can provide written and verbal translations and enhance the clarity and quality of your communication. Moreover, you will show her that you are making an effort to be aware of, and sensitive to her needs. Despite language limitations, this isn't a major problem, since experience has shown that many women are very resourceful in getting letters deciphered and replies translated. Also some of the women are truly fluent in English as English is a required course of study in schools in the C.I.S.


A challenge to this industry is how to conduct business in a humane way while reducing risk for all parties involved. Optimizing the success of our male members and minimizing any hurt on the other end can often be at odds, partly due to the overwhelming number of women available compared to the number of men who join our program and contact them, and the even fewer men yet who actually make the trip. Try to imagine the C.I.S. side of the equation. As a woman who has ventured into this relationship opportunity, you get featured in albums and a web site competing with a lot of beautiful women for the attention of relatively few men. You may get some interest letters, but by definition, your chances for actual marriage are slim. You are hoping to make a contact that will lead to love with a good man and a chance for a better life. If you are lucky enough to appeal to a man who is willing and able to travel to Russia to meet you, you will probably be competing with other women he has contacted, who may also be meeting him during his visit. If against the odds, you should be the one fortunate enough to be offered a marriage proposal, the price will be that you must leave your family and friends to go to a country where you don't know anyone else. You'll have to master another language, adapt to another culture, and if you plan to work or pursue a career, you may have to start all over again. With these uncertainties, you hope that the man is who he seems to be and the marriage is worth the risk.

"...the inside story on why some men are taking a look outside the U.S. for wives, and why foreign women are so eager to sign on. A Russian Connection is part of a Concord business called Video Introductions... there are catalogues filled with hundreds of women that are just waiting to meet and marry American men. If you're willing to invest the money and the time, one of them might just become your wife."
- Venus Stromberg/Donna Cordova, Fox 40 TV News, Feb. 1999

From the male's standpoint, a man might think that having various beautiful women at his disposal is not a bad problem to have. Nevertheless it can be. The very same characteristics that make some of these women so receptive and eager, can put them at considerable emotional risk in respect to dupicitious activity on the part of the man. Mistakes in social interaction that might be considered trivial in the West can be serious in the East. Against some zero-tolerance aspects of a difficult life in the C.I.S., the line between what is perceived as a mistake vs. dishonesty may not be seen at all. A thoughtless indiscretion in a relationship situation in another culture can have harmful ramifications.

In America we've become accustomed to a land in which there is often a safety net to protect us from errors in judgment, and foolish or counterproductive behavior. In some other less fortunate countries there may be no second chances. In contrast to the perplexing behavior displayed by some American women in your attempts to meet and court them, playing hard to get or acting haughty has no practical value in this international courtship situation. Moreover, these women are more likely to say what they mean and mean what they say, rather than engage in polite dishonesty, issue avoidance or question evasion when dealing with uncomfortable issues. Having the advantage of financial leverage, even a man with a kind soul who has been alone too long, may find his personal integrity tested to the limits. So please say what you mean and mean what you say, and do not take advantage of these wonderful, sincere women. And if you've got character flaws, have the courage to work on them. Don't think that someone from afar is the solution.

Some ladies have complained quite bitterly about their treatment by various agencies (there are many Cinderella stories as well). We have chosen to address these issues and implement our beliefs in the nature and structure of the program we offer. We hope that you will appreciate the wisdom of our approach, and our sincere concern for all persons involved. By using our services you join us in fostering dignity and ethics in this marketplace.

"Video Introductions' founder, Norm Mickey, a former social worker, is scrupulously honest in facilitating introductions and operates his business with the highest of integrity."
- Open Exchange, Jan. & Feb. 2001


After you have accomplished what you set out to do, and have reaped the rewards of taking this approach, you may wonder why others haven't done the same thing. You are among the vanguard of some practical and resourceful American men who have thought through a problem and found an innovative way to solve it. As a result, you're likely to have found a partner from abroad who like you, discovered an innovative solution to a need and had the courage to take a risk.

"Mickey says the American men in his Russian Connection program are similarly exasperated. As the feminist movement here has taught men to be better partners, "the quest for independence by American women has led women to an attitude of 'I don't need you anymore, so unless you're perfect, don't bother me.' " Russian women are less modernized, according to Mickey. They still want to be taken care of. And a Russian women is "practical rather than picky" he says. "She's not going to choose a husband on the basis of whether he's tall, dashing, and handsome, but whether he's a good family man, a good provider and parent for her children."
- James O'Brien, Diablo Magazine, Feb. 2002

After all the effort, disappointment and heartache you may have experienced with American women, it is truly amazing, and almost unbelieveable to some, that you are simply able to go to another part of the world to find a marital relationship with a wonderful women you've heretofore only dreamed about, and in some cases given up hope of ever finding. It can be a fairy tale come true for both of you, if you have heeded the advice we've provided and utilized the relationship tools we've made available. May you both live happily ever after.

Return to Russian Connection home page

76 Alves Ln. Bay Point, CA 94565 (925) 825-4490

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