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Why do women do so many women from Eastern Europe want to marry foreign men?
So, the numbers are pretty clear, but they tell only part of the story because the distribution of wealth is so uneven in most of the old Soviet Bloc that even those numbers are too rosy and poverty, in many areas grinding poverty, is a way of life for most people.
So, it's obvious how attractive a Western husband might be to an ambitious young lady.
However, the economic issues are only a part of the equation.
Eastern Europe was still largely a feudal society well into the nineteenth century.
Russian folk sayings such as, "A wife is not a pot; she will not break" and "If the thunder is not loud, the peasant will forget to cross himself" give an idea of what life was like for the average peasant woman.
Today the underlying traces of this tough, dark, male dominated peasant culture are still easy to spot in Eastern Europe; it's often what women are fleeing from when they turn to the internet in search of a Western husband, because in many respects the fate of men and women diverged in the twentieth century.
The twentieth century was an incredibly traumatic period for Eastern Europe.
The vast majority of the population were peasants with few economic opportunities and virtually no political power, ruled by a Westernized elite that was often out of touch with the needs of the common people and determined to maintain their ancient privileges regardless of the costs, and maintain them they did.
For instance, France essentially abolished serfdom in 1318 at about the same time as it faded across most of Western Europe, but the institution continued in Russia until Czar Alexander I freed the serfs, more than 23,000,000 of them, in 1861 - over 500 years later!