Ok guys, here is the rest of my response to the woman who wrote in to say that the Russian bride phenomenon is "nothing more than high end prostitution". She made other irrational and misinformed comments, such as the men who participate in this process are "ignorant, and "old and fat". The comments below begin with a response to that. You can read that letter and the first part of my response here.
MY RESPONSE 
During a recent "romance tour" to Kiev, Ukraine, I can attest that no one on that tour fit your description of being "ignorant", or "old and fat". The men ranged in age from late 20's to mid-50's, attractive, intelligent, professional, in good physical condition, and looking for something they have not been able to find in western culture.
What are the men looking for in a Russian bride, or a bride from Ukraine, or other eastern European countries?
Well, they are looking for someone who is more concerned about who they are as a person rather than what kind of car they drive or how big their paycheck or house is.
And they are definitely looking for someone who takes care of herself physically, does not have weight problems, and generally takes pride in the way she presents herself. And in European cultures, as well as Russia and Ulkraine, there is a much wider acceptance of larger age differences, within reason.
It is a well known fact that both men and women in America are more overweight and out of shape than in most, if not all other parts of the world. As for the women, I'm sorry, but I hear guys talk about this constantly. They are very tired of women who don't care about their weight. And guys, it goes for us too, if you need to shape up, then do it.
I can tell you from personal observation, as well as from hearing the observation of many others, that the women in Ukraine and Russia take a great deal of pride in the way they look, even in everyday circumstances. I never saw a Ukrainian lady in the grocery store in sweatpants and curlers, for example.
Russian and Ukrainian women are not afraid to dress like women. And they don't make you feel as though you need to apologize for being a man in appreciating their femininity and sexyness, as though doing so would somehow make them "unequal".
Now, let's talk about your comment that you "cannot imagine what hardships they must face, to promise themselves to the ignorant (and obviously old and fat ...:-)) patrons of your establishment".
I addressed the "ignorant" and "old and fat" part above, but let's get to the rest. What makes you think that any of these ladies are promising themselves to anyone? What do you actually know about the women's circumstances who "intentionally subject themselves to this situation"?
The women in Russia, Ukraine, and eastern Europe are looking for a quality, reliable man who is family oriented. They love their countries and they are not desperate.
But they are in a situation that makes it hard to find good men; the women vastly outnumber the men. One factor is that these countries are still recovering from the multitudes killed by Stalin and also in Afghanistan.
And many of the men who are available think nothing of going from one woman to the next, even when they are married. It is difficult for many men to earn a good living, and many have given up and turned to alcoholism, which is pervasive among the men in the culture.
So, Russian and Ukrainian women see American men as being much more reliable and faithful than what they have to choose from in their own countries.
We'll continue this in the next part of my response. (More information)