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YouTube Runs Ad Offering American Men a Ukrainian Woman

YouTube recently ran a video ad on its site that suggested American men take what is theirs, referring to Ukrainian women, according to the ad viewed by Motherboard. The ad itself was for a purported dating app and was narrated by a woman looking at the camera speaking to its potential future users.

Foreign dating sites are not new or surprising. But YouTube ran this ad during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which has caused a massive refugee crisis. Multiple soldiers have been accussed of using sexual violence or rape as a weapon of war against Ukrainian women.

The ad says that Ukrainian and other Slavic women have been “raised to respect family and traditional values” and that they “do not pay much attention to the age difference.”

Do you know about any other suspicious ads on YouTube or other Google services? We’d love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, OTR chat on jfcox@jabber.ccc.de, or email joseph.cox@vice.com.

“American guys are usually less passionate and emotional than Slavic men,” the ad says. The women prefer American men because they are more ambitious and financially and socially responsible, the ad says. It then points out that Slavic women speak English. 

“Sounds perfect, right?” the female narrator says to the camera at the end of the ad. “So why wait? Dare, and take what is yours.” 

Motherboard received the YouTube ad while using a new iPad device connecting from a U.S.-based IP address. The device had not been used to view YouTube for long before the advertisement appeared on the service.

YouTube did not respond to a request for comment.

One out of every fifteen marriages in Ukraine is international, spouting and industry of dating agencies, and with them, scammers. VICE News previously reported on another part of that ecosystem: matchmakers and dating advisory services run by Western men and Ukrainian women. 

VICE News also reported on the Chinese obsession of Ukrainian wives. A viral joke on Chinese social media posted shortly after Russia launched its invasion said that Chinese men would be willing to provide shelter to those impacted by the war, but only if they were female, young, and attractive.

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