Tag Archives: Ukraine sex

Anna Ziuzina Court Appearance

Last week saw a courtroom drama here in Kiev, as Anna Ziuzina’s father Valeriy Ziuzin again fought for the right to stay in Barry Pring’s Kiev apartment. I was called to court as a witness, ostensibly just to confirm that I had seen, and made a video, of Valeriy agreeing for an inspection of the apartment. In Russian, but clearly understandable below (full video here), Valeriy consents for the inspection and provides Pring lawyer Dima Slipenko, with his telephone number -

Valeriy ZiuzinHowever, with shiny-suited new lawyer Igor Ivanov (funded by Ivan Lister’s money) now representing him, Valeriy instead came out and, through Igor, attempted to attack me, my reputation as a journalist, blogger even. It swiftly became clear the Ziuzinas are avid readers of this blog, with Igor referencing several never mind blogs, sentences. Particularly this one, about Valeriy – Он просто хочеть еще жить спокойство. Но нельзя Валерий – не тепер и никогда. – ‘He (Valeriy) just wants to live on peacefully. But, no, Valeriy – not now nor ever’.

I had to defend this statement in court, but had no problem with that. Why on earth should Valeriy live peacefully? This is an open murder investigation. Actually, Valeriy is a pathetic figure. In the corridor outside the court, he had Igor stand in front of him to shield him from me, or questions. All the lot of the Ziuzinas want is to hide behind something, and for this all to go away. This in itself shows the lack of value placed not only on human life, but a man, in Barry Pring, who had shown only kindness towards them. Whom they had welcomed, seemingly, into their family.

If Barry Pring had been murdered by someone other than Anna, and she had loved him as she said, Anna Ziuzinathen why is it that Shaughan Pring, Barry’s brother, rather than her, has led the near 6-year fight for justice? Anna Ziuzina has not even made the short journey to Devon to meet Barry’s parents. Or ever shown any interest in finding his killer. The most she has done to that end is create some kind of character profile of him on her blog, as a lone minicab driver trying to feed his family. That’s the difference, then, between a real campaign for answers and justice, and pinning it all on a fictional figure straight out of Grand Theft Auto, before being done with it save a quick reference to the ‘deadly enemies’ of Barry’s who may also be responsible. Most probably the first time the phrase ‘deadly enemies’ has ever been used in the context of IT software programmers from rural Devon.

Olga Ziuzina (2)Anna I’ve yet to meet personally, but of course it’s not just Anna and Valeriy, who I had previously met many times. It’s Olga Ziuzina (here pictured relaxing in Barry’s London apartment), Anna’s mother, who I met for the first time in this court appearance. She was, and is, even more involved than Valeriy. Some have even passed on that murdering Barry Pring was actually both Olga and Anna’s idea. I met Olga’s eyes for the first time upon my leaving the court and her entering. And, in 34 years of life, I have never seen a look of such pure hatred directed at me. 

Out of respect for Ukrainian law, I didn’t film anything while court was in session, actually I was only allowed in to give my testimony. Here is the conclusion -

Igor had actually been fairly friendly to me before, he’d even winked at me as he left the courtroom to bring in their witness, a paid stooge. But, at the end, he refused a handshake. I felt this a bit unnecessary, after all he’s a paid representative rather than a Ziuzina associate. However, I guess you generally don’t shake hands when you’re losing, and the Ziuzinas are losing this.

Ukraine’s Foreign-Man Hunters (Part 1 of 2)

Ukraine girlsThe ineluctable truth is that, in Ukraine, there are those Ukrainian girls expressly looking to meet a foreign man. A good way to meet them, or be met by them, (Part 2 will be about how to identify them) is to head along to one of Kiev’s notorious networking nights – used by foreign guys to find Ukrainian girls and vice versa, with the vague pretence of its being more than a cattle call assuaging the self-perception of the participating parties. Over several months, I met a few ‘foreign-man hunters’ who were quite candid in their views (being invariably a couple of cocktails in), speaking under condition of their first names only listed:

Vika, 26:Why should I bother with Ukrainian men? They want to be the boss, push me around, show me they’re the man. American or European guys are a bit in awe of Ukrainian girls, I can take control. Plus, they know how to treat a woman – flowers, dinner, that kind of thing. A Ukrainian man often thinks he can just buy you a couple of drinks and take you somewhere for sex.”

Marina, 28: “I’ve dated Ukrainian guys, and there are certainly good ones, but it’s just easier for me these days to date foreign guys. I’m 28 now, so the first thing a Ukrainian man will want to know is why I’m not married etc. If I explain the real reason, that I don’t really want to get married right now, and that I’ve had a few boyfriends, he’ll either not want to know me, or think he can just have sex with me immediately, without even buying me dinner. American and European guys think it’s more normal to be single at 28, and ask fewer questions about it.”Ukraine girls

Olena, 31: “To put it simply, foreign guys expect less of a girl, and they give more. A Ukrainian man is going to want me to be beautiful, and on top of this clean his house, cook for him. With a foreign guy, beauty is enough. Plus, most Ukrainian guys don’t have any money – I’m not saying all foreign guys in Ukraine are rich, but they’ve usually got enough for restaurants and that kind of thing. Then, if I’m being honest, there’s the reality that I can ‘play’ with a foreign guy a bit more. If I’m dating a Ukrainian guy, he’ll want to know where I am, and what I’m doing. Either a foreign guy’s out of town, in which case I can be writing to him and just telling him what he wants to hear, or if he’s in town, I can tell him I’m doing something or other, if I’m out with another guy for example, and he’ll believe me.”

Part 2 to follow…

(First photo by Chris Collison)

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The Potemkin Palare

PotemkinThere are certain things you hear too much in Ukraine, about Ukraine, from commentators and barstool occupiers alike. A favourite refrain, which plays to galleries and boxes alike, is that a lot in Ukraine is a Potemkin Village. You can apply this to everything from Euro 2012 preparations to the ladies, gaining numerous erudition points along the way. Of course, ‘Potemkin Village’ harks back to those supposed artifices of buildings, landscaping, peasants and so on, erected by faithful consort Grigory Potemkin along the banks of the Dnepr, in late 18th century, to gull his Empress Catherine II into believing there were beautiful conurbations rather than nothing. But experts doubt this even took place. Actually, it seems that really Potemkin is getting an awfully hard time just for doing a bit of urban gussying up, without ever trying to pass it off as more than that. But no matter, as a well-worn allegory, it stands.

And in any case, it’s just not true for Ukraine.

Ukraine pick-upFor whatever front Ukraine puts up, there isn’t nothing behind it. There’s something. Just something perhaps other than what you may have thought. More than a Potemkin Village, Ukraine is a mirror on the wall which reflects desires right back. The same plane bringing dozens of single (at least for the journey) men into Ukraine will have those who believe Ukraine is basically a bordello sharing in-flight snacks with those who believe Ukraine is home of the traditional, beautiful, home-maker. The two perhaps have some idea of the notions of the other, but there’s invariably little crossover until they inevitably start chasing the other’s mark, with those guys looking for homemakers setting their sights on the girl in the six-inch stilettos and leather skirt at D’lux, and the hooker hunters getting offended when those students walking along Khreshatik aren’t into 50-odd year old guys from the Istanbul area.

Ukraine dollarAnother much-loved maxim, especially for those wishing to present themselves as business gurus, is that “don’t invest in Ukraine” . True, the horror stories are legion and hardly need repeating. And if we are talking high-end investment, then, indeed, the recent raiding of Kiev’s Globus doesn’t look great, though the situation does seem to have now been brought under control. Most of the men I’ve met having lost money in deals in Ukraine, however, are those who have conflated emotional with financial investment. In Autumn I met a guy in Odessa who’d come to chase the ashes of a failed language school he’d opened along with the object of his amorous desires the year before. She hadn’t put out, but had agreed to be his business partner. He had stumped up around $20,000, jetted back to the States and later discovered that the shrewd business partner who would shepherd his outlay, and sexy Ukrainian girl in her 20s who he wanted to shag, did not occupy the same form.

If you are able to find your pleasure companion and your business buddy in different bodies, Ukraine is fabulous for investment. Property prices are low, really low – you can still find apartments in capital Kiev for $50,000. Odessa beachUkraine is a country which looked like it would blast off at the time of the Orange Revolution. Foreign investment into the country was around $8 billion in 2005, as everyone wanted a segment of the action. Now, announced at the start of October, foreign direct investment is down at just over $2.5 billion, down 41% year-on-year. That’s quite a slump, but Ukraine can’t stay slumped, it’s just too good. Go to the beautiful, river-set capital Kiev, take in what is among Europe’s finest beach cities, in Odessa, to make no mention of Crimea (which I can’t really, haven’t been yet). Even put up with the Ukrainian nationalists nutjobs of Lviv and enjoy the redoubtable architecture and old square.

Ukraine girlNow the much-derided President Yanukovych looks about to do what the hero turned bozo Yushchenko was never able to, take Ukraine into Europe (in some form), Ukraine’s best days could be to come. If you follow simple rules here, there’s everything to play for, and gain, in Ukraine. Speak some Russian. Don’t do business with anyone who speaks more Ukrainian than necessary – a truly lovely language to listen to, but its place is around Uzvar at the Dacha, not near anything important. Find a local partner who genuinely wants to help you. He won’t be called Kirill, sport a mullet and shades and drive around in a 15-year-old BMW 3 Series. She won’t be called Marina and have dozens of photos on Vkontakte of her posing in a bikini on a beach in Antalya.

Catherine didn’t earn the Great moniker by believing in cardboard cut-outs. As it happens, Catherine II invested in Ukraine herself, she put up the first wedge for Odessa and it worked out very well for her. As for Potemkin, he founded the very real, and sizeable Kherson, Nikolayev, Sevastopol, and Dnipropetrovsk. So, let’s hear it for the Potemkin Cities.

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Bang Ukraine – A Review

First in an occasional series looking at books looking at Ukraine…Bang Ukraine

Perhaps a bit contentious to start with this, when Ukraine boasts such literary heavyweights as Ilf and Petrov, Gogol and Bulgakov, not to mention contemporary novels with a Ukraine theme such as A Short History of Tractors in Ukraine and Everything is Illuminated.

But, this year, Bang Ukraine has been the most talked about Ukraine-themed book without question, with its author Roosh V, real name Daryush Valizadeh, written extensively about in Ukrainian and international media, even invited on a talkshow to both be attacked, and defend his work. Roosh V is, as it happens, a 34-year-old American who’s authored over a dozen books on both pick-up and, as with Bang Ukraine, kind of pick-up travel guides. Roosh has stated his latest release, out in early 2013, is his tenth and final ‘travel guide’. Among the selling bullet points, the 103-pager promises to school you in the arts of -

  • How you can hack the backwards Ukrainian mentality to get laid
  • Description of the 3 types of Ukrainian girls, and the one you should go for in order to obtain sex
  • How to develop a solid backstory so she doesn’t think you’re a sex tourist
  • A detailed breakdown on how to pick up during the day, including opening strategy, conversation tips, pitfalls to avoid, and how to best answer their common questions about your visit
  • The best nightclub pickup strategy that has ever been put into print for the country of Ukraine
  • How to have a conversation with a Ukrainian girl who possesses bad English, with over a dozen topics and ideas to be used both for when you meet her and on dates
  • What to do when a Ukrainian girl tries to extract resources from you in a long-term relationship

Bang sees Roosh, who started doing the Bang series back in 2006, admit that There is no game I have used in any other country that transferred here, and it kicks off in fighting form -

Ukraine is one of the strangest, most fucked-up places I’ve been to, and I’ve been to my share of shitholes. Everything is wrong with it except for one thing: the women. Ukrainian women are the most feminine I’ve encountered in the world—so feminine that I experienced femininity overload.

Roosh’s confidence in knowledgeability on the subject of Ukraine is perhaps surprising given his stay in the country was only 6 (‘tough’) months, 3 in Kharkiv, 3 in Odessa. In his Kharkiv time, on which Bang Ukraine is based, he stayed with several Ukrainians, through Couchsurfing, before going onto rent an apartment in the city. Roosh created a backstory for himself (something he views as essential) to explain his being in a city a little unusual to find too many non-sex tourists in, it must be said. So, to avoid that ‘sex tourist’ branding, the Bang man was a ‘real estate analyst’, working for a company in the States which buys property in Eastern Europe.

What he was actually doing, naturally, along with teaching English, was working on doing as much later-to-be-documented picking up as he could. To do so, Roosh believes a working knowledge of Ukraine’s background is essential, with his offering early on -

Ukraine Soviet

Understanding the Ukrainian people of today becomes easier if you understand their past. In a word, it was rough. Stalin’s abominable collectivization policies caused famines that killed millions of Ukrainians. Even the softer policies implemented after Stalin’s death still treated Ukraine as a sturdy whore meant to solely benefit the motherland. Sadly, Ukraine is so far behind the rest of the world that I don’t see how it could possibly catch up. Their dated infrastructure, belief systems, and business practices all but assure that it will remain the asshole of Europe for a long time to come. The only European country that Ukrainians compare themselves favorably to is Moldova, which for analogy’s sake would be the rectum of Europe. 

How many have come here looking for a potted history, not to mention rather harsh assessment of Ukraine, is perhaps debatable. However, there’s no denying Roosh is sometimes right on the money -Roosh V

Ukrainians look for quick fixes and shortcuts that give the appearance of beauty or success instead of working hard to improve the foundation. 

During my stay I quickly wondered if Ukraine was made more for robots or something other than human beings. Everything is constructed to frustrate you. For example, in Kharkiv, a city of over 1 million people, there’s only one post office that lets you ship a package internationally.

Other pearls, I’m not so sure about -

There is no service with a smile. A popular sushi restaurant would give out one menu for every two people.

While true in some cases, it’s not that difficult to find service with a smile in Ukraine, just sometimes you need to smile first.

RooshAnother feature of the Ukrainian mentality was a complete aversion to taking risks. 

Not sure where that came from, clearly Roosh hasn’t paid attention to what happens on Ukrainian roads, or the fishermen sitting out in the middle of rivers on small globs of ice in April.

A Ukrainian woman will absolutely not go out with a man who decreases her chance for a comfortable life.

Is that just Ukraine?? And of Kiev -

The prices are higher, but it’s the only city in Ukraine where I’ve heard reports of one-night stands.

Odessa is surprisingly dismissed in this equation, despite his having lived there. But then it’s unclear how much of Ukraine Roosh has actually been to, beyond the Kharkiv and Odessa he lived in, with his writing of Lviv: My correspondents lead me to believe the girls in Lviv are nicer while the ones in Kharkiv are hotter.

Of other cities, Roosh has this to say -

DnipropetrovskThe three largest cities here are Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Donetsk. These are industrial cities from Soviet times that are ugly on a scale you probably can’t fathom.

Way too hard – each of these cities possesses a certain beauty, even.

All those stories you hear of desperate Ukrainian or Russian women throwing themselves at foreigners don’t apply until you get to the late 20s and early 30s, but by then she’s past her prime….The sad truth is that most foreigners tend to get the older leftovers passed on by rich Ukrainian men.

Hard, but possibly true. Of Ukrainian women themselves, Roosh is ambiguous -

Ukraine girls4I’m not hating on Ukrainian women, for they are more than acceptable, but they cross the line of femininity to where they look less naturally beautiful compared to girls in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil. If you got girls from all these countries to line up naked without any make-up, Ukraine would be towards the bottom of the pack. But if you gave them time with a mirror and beauty supplies, they would rank up towards the top… Don’t get me wrong — girls from other countries in Eastern Europe rely heavily on beauty products too, but Ukrainian girls take it to a level I didn’t know was humanly possible.

I have doubts about this polemic, when applied to Ukraine as a whole. It sounds more like a theory developed from spending time in the bars and clubs of downtown Kharkiv (which is as Russian as it is Ukrainian in any case), rather than a template for Ukraine. Actually a lot of the book does read like Kharkiv super-imposed over Ukraine – The biggest problem with night game is that most girls simply don’t go out. That may indeed be true of Kharkiv, with its slightly unusual nightlife scene, but hardly of Kiev, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk even. Equally, the following can be applied only to a certain category of Ukrainian girls -

Ukrainian women believe that a man should do all the work while she should simply look as pretty as possible. Therefore she rarely offers feedback to your statements and stories.

You start to understand why those Ukrainian women ripping into Roosh on his talk show appearance were so upset when you read his describing of Ukrainian girls as ‘corpses’, which he qualifies – Roosh talkshow

By calling Ukrainian women corpses, I don’t mean to say that they are inferior to other girls.

At least not inferior to dead girls then, presumably. Roosh builds on this somewhat bizarre, not to mention beyond derogatory, theme of Ukrainian girls being ‘dead’ by comparing them at length to the titular character of film Weekend at Bernie’s, who was of course very much a stiff. As hard as it can be to feel sympathetic for Ukrainian girls as a concept, what with their killer heels, looks, and all that leather and fur, Bang Ukraine achieves the feat of invoking that very emotion. Ukrainian girls have had to put up with a lot of branding over the years – from Natashas to husband hunters, hookers etc, but repeatedly referring to them as members of the deceased certainly pushes a boundary. Not to mention making our Roosh quite the necrophiliac.

Roosh admits to not knowing Russian that well, understandable given his short length of time in the country, and as you read through his descriptions of engaging with Ukrainian girls (you’ll have to endure blank faces and pathetic engagement in conversations where you’redoing over 80% of the talking as if you’re a stand-up comedian), it’s hard not to call to mind a fairly commonly seen scene here, that of a Western guy blabbering away to a Ukrainian girl who clearly has very little idea of what he’s on about.Ukraine flag

On to the tactics for gaining what Roosh refers to as your ‘Ukrainian flag’. Firstly, Roosh has advised us to budget accordingly, quoting a figure of $500-1200 for a monthly apartment in Kharkiv, sums which could rent entire buildings as it happens. A required monthly budget of $1,750 for ‘flag hunters’ is quoted, giving away that much of the ‘flag’ must be bought. If this would seem to take away from the conceit of the book, probably not going to be bought by many going to Ukraine and making over three times the national average salary. Actually, Roosh recommends being an English teacher as one of the most effective methods of getting in about the girls, as it were. However, English teacher’s positions typically pay around $1000 a month.

Ukraine girlsYet Roosh does urge – Since you’ll be expected to pay for everything, your best bet is to keep costs down as much as possible so she knows you can’t be taken for a ride. I can’t stress enough that even though you can afford to take her somewhere nice, you should not do it before sex. As this book is hardly likely to be read by many looking for anything more than sex, Ukrainian girls’ chances of getting to that sushi restaurant would seem remote indeed.

In any case, I’m unsure that Ukrainian girls are quite as open to the ‘walking in the park’, Roosh suggests, with occidentals, as their own. Not to mention the weather in Ukraine making this hardly possible for several months of the year. And pulling off convincing the object of your affections / sexual intentions that you the finances required to make you worthy of attention (something Roosh believes necessary), while not forking out the 7 or 8 dollars for a Philadelphia Roll, may be a tough ask indeed. Roosh’s financial figures are off throughout – a basic bar in the park where a beer is $3 (it should be $2 or even $1). But when the Bang man moves onto his advice for picking up interaction, it’s actually pretty good.

Roosh V1

Correctly identifying that Ukrainian ladies like to pepper international interlocutors with questions pertaining to the whys of their reason for being in Ukraine and the whats for doing in the country, with each answer only generating fresh rounds of enquiry, Roosh seizes on a strategy of putting it right back on their toes -

Are you married? Why not? A lot of Ukrainian women marry very young.

When do you want to get married?

What are you studying? What kind of job do you hope to get with that?

He goes on to delineate the Ukrainian girls into 3 categories -

I noticed three types of Ukrainian girls in the wild: young students under 20, older students aged around 21 to 24, and professional women from 25 to 30. I did not interact with women over 30….. As for women over 30, why bother?

Fair enough, really, being a Ukrainian woman is a little like Logan’s Run, and few Western men under 50 are going to be interested in a Ukrainian girl much past mid-twenties. Getting past the ethical, moral, sexist, misogynist angle to the advice itself, when Roosh starts talking about how to crack onto Ukrainian girls, he knows his beetroots -

The best way to bang a young girl is to either get yourself into a social circle through a local guy who sees you as cool, or to go for a girl who is the loner type without a lot of friends. If she has a million friends and is busy on social networking sites tallying up all the likes to her modeling photos, forget it.Roosh V2

It will be far easier to bang university girls aged between 20 and 24…. her social circle has gotten weak enough that it allows you to easily set one-on-one dates. At this age, a girl starts to become more aware of the clock working against her. Since she thinks she would be a failure in life if she remains single at the age of 25…. Older women (25 and up) start to get desperate for men. They know they are out of their prime because they’re constantly reminded of their failure by female relatives.

Roosh vacillates between offering bespoke advice evincing a real knowledge of the score in Ukraine, and cut-and-paste truisms of the sort that he’s offered in many of his other works – spending some money on girls is good, spending too much is likely to cast you as a benefactor, etc.

Ukraine girls6Roosh’s targets of choice are the so-called ‘English groupies’, girls who just love speaking English. And it’s true, there are ‘bangs’ to be had there. If you don’t mind the mutual prostitution of that equation – you selling your culture and language, her selling her body. But then, if you are reading a book with the first word of the title ‘Bang’, you are probably cool with that. What Roosh wants is something more than a ‘fuckbuddy’, but something less than being classified as a ‘potential husband’. So, basically, simply dating, something it’s true much harder to find than in the USA of which Roosh is only derisive when it comes to womenfolk (American women are painful to talk to all the time).

He identifies the sweet spot age of a Ukrainian girl as being 22. In terms of meeting these ‘smoking hot’ 22-year-olds, Roosh assigns Ukraine an indice of 70, meaning you have to approach that 70 before getting 1. This puts Ukraine as much harder than Iceland, 40, Poland, 45, and tougher than Lativa, 60. The numbers game, and not taking umbrage at the at times icy locals, is key to Roosh’s strategy:

After you get her number, don’t stress if she disappears and fails to acknowledge you again — it doesn’t mean she lost interest. Work on other girls to get as many numbers as you can. If you go out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, along with daygaming, you should have at least five numbers come Sunday. Start text messaging the hottest girls you meet and then work your way down…

And it goes to rating the aesthetics of the ladies themselves:

Yuliya was an 8. She truly was beautiful…. but I was ready for the 9.

MambaThat thinking that what you have is never quite enough when casting your gaze around on the street, along with oculoplania, a common Ukraine syndrome. Roosh favours the face-to-face on the beat approach, over the internet which has become somewhat of a standard in modern Ukrainian girl meeting (interestingly, or tellingly, Roosh seems unaware that the Mamba.ru site he uses is actually, really, a prostitute portal). So, as well as the numbers, along the way, there are observations of Ukrainian ladies to make anyone who has spent a little time in the country chuckle:

Finding cute girls who were alone, not on their phone, or not in a rush to be somewhere was harder than I thought possible.

I found it hard to believe that a girl would “use” me for a date at a slightly above-average bar.

Roosh V3Similarly, imagining Roosh, a bearded man in his mid-30s, carrying out some of these approaches raises a smile:

Simply walk around (universities) like you are a confused idiot and ask girls where the foreign language office is. Your bait drop will be how hard it isto find a good Russian (or Ukrainian) language class where you “come from.”

Do you know where I can find a pet shop?…When it got late in the night, usually past 9pm, where asking for a pet store no longer made sense, I asked for a “large supermarket”

I thought of a plan to offer a bridge for girls who liked me. At the end of class I’d say, “And if you guys have any questions about what I taught you today, or want to ask something about English, please don’t hesitate to email me,” and then I wrote my email address on the board. But no one emailed me, not even the guys…

The writing of the book is actually pretty good. With no aspirations to high literature, it cracks along at a brisk pace. Roosh is a pen name, but hardly a pseudonym given that he’s out there in the open under his own name, on wikipedia and more, while doing interviews, YouTube and Twitter. So, Roosh V4I found the way Roosh portrays himself so unstintingly unsympathetically (She declined to order anything at all. My instinct was to force her to eat something, but then again the alcohol from the wine I ordered would be absorbed faster) to be quite refreshing.

He doesn’t stint from putting the boot into competitors either, notably savaging a Danish chap about to arrive to meet one of his targets (I could easily see on her face the damage my kamikaze cockblock had done, and I was quite pleased at my work… I have a program that says to destroy all competitors without mercy, and that’s what I tried to do. Only a day later did I realise I may have ruined her life.). It all reminded me a bit of the outrageous stories Kenneth Williams used to tell about himself in his writing, in which the only possible opinion to be formed was one negative of the author. These include Roosh coming out and fessing up that he essentially forced himself, caveman style, on several of his conquests.

That said, Roosh is, in his own way, more of a Sid James character, chasing around countries looking for all the rumpy-pumpy he can get his hands on. And, in fairness, whether he knows it or not, and from his descriptions, Roosh’s girls were generally doing him just as much as being done. There is an exception towards the end of his time in Ukraine, with our hero coming off as rather heartless in his breaking up with Yuliya, who seems to have been both lovely and devoted to him. In the break-up (at a picnic), he tells her: My mind is already on new places, new adventures. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. I rather have bad sex with a lot of girls than good sex with just one. This rather heartbreaking incident aside, his book is an entertaining romp through a Ukraine in which he did manage to find just that, however not of the one-night variety he had intended, with his coming to realising: I’ve come to the conclusion that Ukraine is best if you want a feminine girlfriend, not if you want to bang a lot of girls. In a YouTube video he’s uploaded, Roosh confesses to actually not having had a single one-night stand in Ukraine, despite his profound desire to have done so.

Ukraine sex tourismAs for whether Roosh’s advice is the best way to go about getting this, I’m not sure. He does seem quite bound up in hard and fast rules and systems in a country where a concession to flexibility can be a considerable boon, if not entirely necessary. And while Roosh did certainly get some while in Ukraine, he openly admits there’s room for improvement – I never felt like a chump as many times as I did in Ukraine. Roosh is similarly candid about what he wants – As long as the girl is generous, pleasant, and happy, I don’t need her to entertain me or stimulate my brain….. Love was in the air, but I just wanted sex. 

So, say what you will about him, at least he’s honest. Psychologists would doubtless have a field day on his self-confessed use of sex as validation of his own masculinity, masculinity per se. And his book does read rather like a letter to himself from back home in the USA – Writing this guide was actually a cathartic experience for me – with the things he thinks he should have known in Ukraine. All said though, I rather liked it, and I’d recommend reading it (comfortably do-able in one sitting) – but for entertainment rather than the other. I won’t give away his final number count, but no question Roosh left Ukraine feeling he should have done much more. He still writes about Ukraine frequently on his Facebook page, would clearly love to put the teachings of his book into practice, so it’s most likely Ukraine hasn’t been banged for the last time.

Bang Ukraine, along with Roosh’s other works, is available on his website, and Amazon.

YouTube Channel here

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Leonid Fainberg – Ultimate Ukrainian Gangster Update

A version of this was originally published in the New Statesman and Pravda, in October 2012, now here, updated -

Leonid FainbergSpeaking out from her cell in Kharkiv, jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has called on Ukrainians to “rise up against the mafia” she believes are running, and ruining, her country. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, a man born just a few hundred kilometres, and a couple of years before Tymoshenko, widely reputed as one of Ukraine’s most infamous mafioso, is fast becoming famous from his Panama cell in the notorious La Joya prison, the largest in Panama with its 7,000 plus inmates crammed in frequently killing each other.

Not that Leonid Tarzan Fainberg (also known by a litany of aliases) restricts himself to a cell, as he wanders about what resembles a large shack, flirting outrageously with fellow ‘female’ inmates, preparing meals, and mostly giving every indication that, despite the filthy conditions and general bedlam, he’s rather enjoying the whole experience. Even if incarcerated in filth, Leonid Fainberg has never been one to let life pass him by.

Criminal Beginnings

Leonid Fainberg1Born in Odessa in 1958, in 1971 a young Fainberg and his parents (of Jewish origin) emigrated to Israel. Later, he tried out for the Israeli Marines, apparently wanting to become a Navy Seal. However, he failed to pass basic training and, when he again failed the army’s officer exam, his pride was dented, and the young man decided to look further afield. Fainberg’s ‘career path’ followed a descent through the realms of criminality. 1980 saw him in Berlin, going under the name Ludwig, and scraping out a living as a ‘runner’ for local mobsters, while carving out his own niche in extortion and credit card fraud. When one hit went wrong, Fainberg narrowly avoided a serious beating by rival Russian mobsters, and decided it was time to move on.

New York 80sHaving learned his trade, he headed for the United States in 1984. With his thick, long, chestnut hair (which along with his uninhibited behaviour, and muscular physique, earned him the moniker ‘Tarzan’) and handsome appearance, he was every inch the aspiring émigré. However Fainberg’s designs on the American Dream were always criminal, with his belief that it was easier to steal and extort in the Wild West. Ostensibly, his New York business consisted of running a video rental shop in Brooklyn’s Little Odessa district. In actuality, Lech Tarzan, or Lenny, as he was known, was already making mob connections and earning a reputation as an arsonist-for-hire, with his services usually employed in torching businesses in competition with the Russian mob.

Fainberg reportedly married the ex-wife of an imprisoned gangster while in New York, and partly lived off his criminal proceeds, though details of this union are sketchy. Falling in with brutal Russian gang boss Grisha Roizes, Fainberg found himself working in the furniture stores used as a front for drug trafficking. A good turn for mob kingpin Frank Santora supposedly saw Santora take a shine to Fainberg, advising him that Miami was the place for him to be, and setting him up with enough Colombian connections there to get started in the South Florida sun.

Miami ViceMiami Vice

Living in Miami between 1990 and 1997, Fainberg ran an infamous strip club called Porky’s, and revelled in a life which made hit 80s TV series Miami Vice seem understated. A three-year investigation, led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), uncovered a byzantine narcotic trafficking network, which involved shipping cocaine from Ecuador to St. Petersburg, concealed in cargoes of iced shrimp. Fainberg was the middle man in the operation, and is also believed to have facilitated in the purchase of Russian war helicopters and other military equipment for his Colombian ‘partners’.

90-foot Foxtrot Class Attack SubmarineThe most famous tale that has attached itself to Fainberg is the tale from the mid-1990s, which saw him attempting to purchase a former Soviet submarine from the Kronstadt Naval Base, for the Colombians. The base was reportedly littered with Cold War relics, waiting to be snapped up by the right buyer, and they decided on a 90-foot Foxtrot Class Attack Submarine that could carry up to 40 tons of cocaine, to be painted to resemble an oceanographic research vessel. The deal ultimately fell through, not apparently, before a deal for USD 5.5 million complete with a crew, had been reached. The fact that at the time, Fainberg’s lawyer dismissed the claims as “ludicrous” has done nothing to diminish their widespread credence. At the time, Fainberg was referred to as a ‘Redfella’, the term given to CIS mobsters. And it was a purple patch for such Redfellas, with an estimated 5,600 organised crime groups and over 100,000 active members in the CIS. Kenneth Rijock, a Miami-based financial crimes consultant described the CIS gangs, around 300 of whom had moved abroad as having “more money than God, more ruthless than the 1920s Prohibition gangsters.”Fainberg Porkys

Fainberg was known for a quick, and at times extreme, temper. In one reported incident in Miami, undercover agents with the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency allegedly watched from a distance as Fainberg chased a stripper out of Porky’s and slammed her head repeatedly against the door of his Mercedes, until the car was covered in blood. In another episode, he allegedly beat a dancer in the parking lot outside the club and then made her eat gravel.

FainbergDuring his time in Miami, Fainberg married a waitress from Porky’s, and fathered a daughter, but it wasn’t to be a settled domestic life. An FBI investigation which saw 11,000 conversations taped eventually saw Fainberg arrested and charged on 30 counts. Pleading guilty, he cut a deal for the minimum term of 37 months by testifying against his accomplices and contacts. In 1999, having served his sentence, Fainberg was deported to Israel. But, around a year later, he found himself back in North America, this time, Canada. He hadn’t stayed in Israel long, but long enough to legally change his name to Alon Bar.

New Country, Same Story

On arrival in Ottawa, Fainberg appeared to be leading a reformed life, with his daughter and a new Canadian wife, devoted to family and Jewish worship. He did reportedly attempt to ‘go straight’, and work for a mobile phone company, being dismissed after management cottoned on to his criminal past. Any notion, however, that he’d put his old ways behind him was debunked when he was the subject of a sting operation by undercover journalist, Victor Malarek, who exposed his role in the sex trade. For his book The Natashas, Malarek described Fainberg as handing over a custom-made two-fold business card sporting the “caricature of a mop-topped muscular man under the name of Porky’s. Lenny TarzanThe inside featured a cartoon of an ample nude woman bending over in knee-high stiletto-heeled boots. Underneath was his name – Tarzan Da Boss – and on the opposite side Welcome to Planet Sex, Land of Fantasy.”

Fainberg’s Canadian plan was to open a strip club in Gatineau, Quebec, to feature imported talent – Russian and Ukrainian strippers and lap dancers. During his ‘interview’ with Malarek, Fainberg boasted of his ability to import women from Russia, Ukraine, Romania or the Czech Republic. “No problem. The price is $10,000 with the girl landed. It is simple. It is easy to get access to the girls. It’s a phone call. I know the brokers in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. I can call Moscow tomorrow and show you how easy it is. I can get ten to fifteen to twenty girls shipped to me in a week.” Shortly after the sting, authorities swooped on Fainberg, who had been trying to claim refugee status in Canada under supposed threats to his life from political groups in Israel. On charges of violating the visa regime, he found himself back in Israel in 2003.

Panama and Mr PrisonerFainberg Doll House

Fainberg’s actions in the intervening years are a little murky, though at some point he headed to South America, more particularly, Panama. Once again he began apparently operating a prostitution and drugs-based business, in three bars – Moulin Rouge, Doll’s House and Habano, in Bella Vista, Panama City. In June 2011, he was arrested and charged with pimping and trafficking, both of which he denies, with the second charge now reportedly dropped. Various trials have come and gone in a country not noted for the transparency of its judicial system, with one hearing suspended when the translator didn’t turn up.

Ludwig FainbergAnd, in recent months, from prison, Fainberg has re-invented himself via YouTube and his blog, posting as Lev Panama and Mr Prisoner. In his videos, which have attracted hundreds of thousands of hits and international attention, he alternates between Russian, English and broken Spanish as he variously strolls around a prison which shows fellow inmates toting guns, mixed-sex cells, squalor, general chaos but also wifi and other inmates communicating with the outside world via laptops.

When he addresses the camera directly, still with his trademark long hair but now sporting an unkempt beard flecked with white, he does so as Leon Bar, a Russian citizen, he appeals both for his country to come to his rescue, and for people to donate $65,000 to help his cause. So far, Russia has been circumspect about whether to come to his aid. An investigation is on-going as to whether he does in fact hold a Russian passport. He would also be eligible to a Ukrainian passport, if he rejected all others.

As it is, he is believed to hold Israeli citizenship, however, even if he does possess the Russian passport he views as a ‘get out of jail card’, the implications of assisting a character with such a shady past seem to be giving his Лелик и Барбарики‘countrymen’ cold feet, for now. How much financial aid he has so far raised is also unclear. In his clips, along with thanking his viewers, Fainberg admits to involvement in the criminal scene, but puts his own spin on events, citing some ‘confusion’ as to who was a celebrity and who was a gangster, back then, and playing down any role in drugs and people trafficking.

Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of his recent activities is that he is a co-creator of popular CIS children’s animation Lelik and Barbaricks. But then, few things in Fainberg’s life have ever followed the expected path, indeed many websites refer to him primarily as an ‘adventurer’. One thing Fainberg certainly is, is a survivor, having lived through the so-called ‘mobster years’ of the 80s and 90s, and outlived many of his contemporaries and counterparts. Few would bet against this notorious, Ukrainian-born mobster-turned-YouTube sensation having a couple more acts left in him. Where those acts take place, remains to be seen.

One Year On…

I’d maintained an interest in Fainberg, but coming back to see where he was one year on threw up a fresh set of complications. Whereas in 2012, it had been hard to find people to talk, but very easy to find information on Fainberg online, tucked away in obscure pockets of the internet but findable nonetheless, 2013 saw it easier to contact Fainberg’s acquaintances but harder to find anything of him online. Apart that is, from many links, repostings etc of the article I’d written on Fainberg last year. So, seeking new information, I mostly came up against a wall of my own words and making. Twitter was a stream of retweetings, very nice and much appreciated though not furthering this year’s end. Google likewise, and nothing helped by the fact that the man himself has now deleted his presence from the web as enthusiastically as he once created it. More, Fainberg’s friends, if accessible, knew or were giving away nothing about his new life.

Fainberg GaleotaWhereas 2012 saw Fainberg operating Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter, YouTube and more, 2013 Fainberg is a virtual ghost. Speaking to friends of his, who did not wish to be named, a reason emerges: “Lenny read your piece, he liked being a celebrity, he always has, but it wasn’t the kind of publicity he needed at that time so he took a decision to take a step back, go low profile, and plan his next move.” Fainberg had been imprisoned in Panama along with long-time partner in crime and high times (pictured with Fainberg, right), Tony Galeota. Galeota was released from prison in May of this year, with Fainberg reportedly also made a free man at this time.

The two should have stayed in Panama for some time after, with prosecutor’s indicating they would appeal the release. Yet, neither of them apparently stuck around for long. Galeota appears to have had somewhat of a redemption while interned: “I’m not a religious person, but I believe I went to jail because I was living like a rock star — running around with all these women, drinking a bottle of vodka every day for two years.” He indicated plans to open a place in Fort Lauderdale, a family establishment no less. Whether Fainberg had a similar change of heart, or if they are still together is unclear.

There are a couple of YouTube videos still up of Fainberg’s Mr Prisoner, which had been on the verge of really going viral, but they are operated by accounts other than Fainberg’s. Just as all his other incarnations, Mr Prisoner has been cast aside as Leonid Fainberg moves onto the next reinvention adventure. Watch this blog…

YouTube Channel 

River Palace – Kiev’s Floating Brothel (Part 1 of 4)


The Canoe Man (and Johnny Ball) hit Ukraine (Part 1 of 2)

The Fall of Rover (Part 2)

Abandoned Vozdvyzhenka – Cursed in Kiev? (Part 1 of 2)

Odessa – Europe’s Best City (#1)

Nikolaev Streets – Top 10

Anna Ziuzina murder car1

Anna Ziuzina – The Disappearing Car Mystery

The car which hit Barry Pring had false numberplates, ones which had been rather crudely stuck on, and the front one of which came off upon the vehicle hitting Barry. Those numberplates came from a car, in all of Kiev and its near 850 square kilometres, around half a dozen a metres from the entrance of an apartment Anna Ziuzina had lived in just over a year before, for around 6 months. That apartment is just off Kiev’s famous Peizazhnaya AlleyIra took me there, for my first visit, in December 2011, and although I had no idea of it at the time, or even knew much about Barry Pring, the car over my left-hand shoulder – a blue Moskvitch Aleko – played a key role in his murder.

Anna Ziuzina murder car

The next time I saw that car, it couldn’t be seen, the mid-80s Aleko was buried under 6 feet of snow. I dug it out, and there it was, a car with a unique piece of the story of Barry Pring’s murder. Wanting the new girlfriend he adored to leave the stripping profession he had discovered she worked in, after her having initially said she was a teacher, and with her strong urging to help her do that, Barry Pring rented Anna Ziuzina a city centre apartment, on Vladimirskaya. In this apartment, Ziuzina struck up a sexual relationship with her married neighbour, Yuri Veprinskiy. Veprinskiy, a man with known links to the criminal community, saw an opportunity to kill 2 birds with 1 stone in February 2008.

Anna Ziuzina murder car2

Involved in the plotting of Barry Pring’s murder, Ziuzina asked her neighbour lover to source number plates for the car she had obtained with another lover collaborator. Veprinskiy, as well as knowing the Moskvitch to have been abandoned there since the mid-90s, harboured a dislike for its owner, an elderly neigbhour, having earlier threatened him with violence after he refused to sell his apartment to developers. So, while back in England Barry Pring prepared to visit his wife for a birthday / 1st wedding anniversary / Valentine’s Day celebration, Anna Ziuzina was out at the scene of the crime on February 14th doing a run through. Meanwhile, Yuri Veprinskiy simply popped downstairs and took the numberplates from the Aleko. As of January this year, they were still missing.

Anna Ziuzina murder car1

In February of this year, with the publication of my full report into Barry’s murder, Stephen Wright’s article in the Daily Mail, and of course the tireless work of Barry’s brother Shaughan, after over 5 years things really started to move in the case. The British police established a dedicated team of officers working on bringing the situation to a resolution. The Ukrainian police began meaningfully cooperating with their British counterparts for the first time, as over this year a process which will see Anna Ziuzina legally obliged to answer police questions on her part in her late husband’s killing has commenced. Incidentally, that registration plate which came off upon the 80mph impact of the car ramming into Barry, is in Ukrainian police custody.

Recently, I decided to return to check up on the Moskvitch. But, it had gone.

Barry Pring murder car

I spoke to the car’s elderly owner who told me it had been sold in Spring of this year. This car, abandoned for over 16 years, this car which didn’t move whose engine had long since rusted and seized. Now, suddenly, as soon as snow had thawed and the heat was on, sold. More, it hadn’t even been advertised for sale, the old man rather liked having his old Soviet relic sitting there. Even more, it still had no registration plates. But, out of the blue, an unknown man had called and come to take it away.

Incidentally, there are hundreds of moving, inexpensive Moskvitches for sale all across Kiev. But, I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence, rather than someone just desperately trying to tie up loose ends…

YouTube Channel

Anna Ziuzina – An Email

Anna Ziuzina


Anna Ziuzina and the 12 Pieces of Evidence

The Black Widow

Russian Hitman Hoax?

Anna Ziuzina – The Hitman and Her

Ukraine train

Train of Humour?

Ukraine trainNo one likes a buzzkill, and who likes being a buzzkill, apart from a real buzzkill, but the way a certain story has been circulated in the past couple of days is well, without wishing to be that buzzkill, a bit off to my mind.

Anyone reading this probably already knows the tale of the man and woman hit by a train while having sex on train tracks near Ukraine’s city of Zaporozhye, on the morning of Saturday 28th September. She, 30s, died instantly, he, 41, lost both of his legs below the knee. Now, it’s the most natural thing in the modern world to come across a story and forward it on, via Twitter or Facebook, with your own amusing caption. This is what some Twitter users have had to say -

@AdamCarollaShow They died doing what they loved-sex on railroad tracks.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/train-tracks-sex-run-over-ukraine-_n_4017485.html … Oooo sucks

@HuffPostCrime: Couple run over by train while having sex on railroad tracks http://huff.to/1bo4UMn ” hope they finished

I guess the train came first… #TooSoon? RT @mrmartye: Sex On Railroad Tracks Turns Tragic http://huff.to/1bmdZFi  via @HuffPostWeird

So…no one said get up? “@HuffPostCrime: Couple run over by train while having sex on railroad tracks http://huff.to/1bo4UMn 

Ok, look, fair dues, it’s almost a punchline waiting to happen, a picture ripe with potential, waiting for the apposite caption. And they were drunk, stupid, etc. But did anyone before posting stop to think of the reality of that situation – can you imagine that scene, what it was really like, for those involved, for those who witnessed at, even after the event? For openers – Gruesome. Horrific. Mutilated body parts everywhere. Kyiv Post

Twitter is one thing though, The Kyiv Post, which has been showing signs of real recovery since Brian Bonner took back over, jumped on the bandwagon deciding to lend some gravity to the levity. Daryna Shevchenko writes, in a Kyiv Post Lifestyle Blog -

The moral of the story seems obvious – don’t engage in unsafe sex, particularly sex on the railways. The woman is on the Kyiv Post’s “most awkward death” list.

Awkward. Really? I’d imagine actually unimaginable agony. But anyway, the post goes into the inevitable compendium of ‘hilarious’ deaths, starting with a Russian / Ukrainian theme, then throwing it out a bit. As has been pointed out to me, even by way of having a go, I’ve had a fair few laughs at Ukrainians, and their behaviour. Maybe this is no different, perhaps this really is hilarious and someone is being a right old po-face. Conceivably. And I’ll doubtless continue no doubt to enjoy a laff at Ukrainians, a people for the most part I’m actually pretty fond of. However, I like the objects of any such to be in one piece, rather than smashed into a bloodied pulp with butchered limbs splayed across train tracks.

YouTube Channel 

And -

Kiev Violence / Making a Living Freelancing

Day-game with Devillier – Deleted Scenes, Extras, Defence

Ukraine and Former Ukraine

Union Jack Ukraine – (What to Spot #1)

Why leave Ukraine?

10 Euromaidan Bitzabit

Donetsk Streets – Top 10

Hostynny Dvir – From Neglect to Flames


Anna Ziuzina – An Email

Read this email, presented in full for the first time, and make up your own mind.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I view it as a cynical attempt from Anna Ziuzina, who had only recently come clean that she was a stripper not a teacher (and now emailing from her stripper email account), to force Barry Pring into a marriage from which her only intention was money. They’d only met a few months before, in that time Barry had done everything for Anna, even going so far as to offer to pay in full for her to come to London to do an interior design course. In return, Anna Ziuzina had gone on holiday to Egypt, where she had cheated on him – video of that here – then to Africa, where she had worked as a prostitute for a week in Johannesburg (confirmed by her best friend Tatiana).

All to overlook the fact it was also sent just a couple of days before Barry’s birthday. Due to this email, it was hardly a happy birthday, and Barry only had one more…

— Lucky UA <luckykiev@yahoo.com> wrote:
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 06:17:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Lucky UA <luckykiev@yahoo.com>

Subject: Hello! To: Barry Pring <barrypring@yahoo.co.uk>

Hello Barry!

Sorry for not writing sooner. I had a pretty busy week and week-end. I was at interview for new club, I got the place but I only will start work from next week. I still need to get in shape after that trip to Africa.   Last week I also had friends from other city here, so it was a lot of going out plus we even been outside of Kiev for fishing on week-end. Honestly, I also needed time to sort out my thoughts. 

There is something I want to tell you, Barry.  It is bothering me but I never had a chance to express how I feel. I guess, it is time to share with you what I think and feel. I do not know how you imagine development of our relationship, indeed.  I do not know how to even explain it better to you but somehow I always felt you are afraid of some serious steps in relationship.  I feel like the idea of a partnership between us seem to be attractive to you but that’s about it.  I always thought that older man has more experience and understand what women want better than young guys.  I always though mature man knows how to conquest the heart of woman having life experience.  You always told me that man is like wine, only gets better with age. Somehow I feel like you forget about it. Having example of Sasha and Olga in front of my eyes, I can tell WOW. he really knew how to get and keep this woman. 

I think by now, everything what you did in our relationship it always have been everything what YOU only wanted and I honestly think you have pretty selfish position in number cases.  You behave like you expect me to compromise on things but you are not ready for it. I would understand your position if you’d be in your 20th and I would call it “youth maximalism” and still it’s not always good for even boys but for a grown up man – excuse me, I just do not understand.   Remember the situation where I asked you to go to the beach vacation with me? You said you are not interested in it. I asked for your compromise, you were not ready.  Trust me, on your place Sasha would say, we go where ever Olga wants to go.  I am happy where she is happy. See the difference?   I never mentioned the fact that in her first date she got 1000 dollars jewellery . etc. etc.  You pooled me away from cosmetic shop, saying that your credit card was burning.

You can appeal now that you was going to do a big step and even pay my study that was pretty expensive, I realise.  Let’s see if you did it FOR me or more probably for YOURSELF – to have me near you for one year and still not being in a situation where you have to connect yourself with matrimonial bonds. I told you from the beginning that this idea might not work but you still insisted we have to go this way and try.  OK, of course we did your way. Barry, I have an impression you have a little not realistic idea about life.  Sometimes, you act very immature. May be it has something to do with the fact you never been married and never had a partner for a long term to care about and it turned into you being thoughtful about your own wishes and have it as priority. I was really laughing when you was “so worry” and concerned if nobody insist me to do something what I did not want in Africa.  You said, because you “care” . if you’d really care on my opinion, I’d never had to go there. Do you really think, I will be ready for this kind of relationship?

You are nice person and I like you in many ways but with the same result I can find a boy, who is my age and argue with him about every little thing but it would be OK and everybody would say what you want to expect from your immature boyfriend? This is not what I want, really. I think, you should think about what I wrote and if you think I am not right, let it be so. If you’ll understand something of what I am trying to say and change your attitudes toward our relationships, it will have sense for you to come and try it over.

Best regards, Anna