A would-be Governor, his internet bride, and a love lost on the streets of Ukraine

 

Moscow

When volunteers working for a local homeless charity did their usual rounds of the dishevelled street-dwellers at a provincial railway station in Ukraine last week, they were in for a shock. One of the people living at Chernovtsy station brandished a US passport, and began speaking to them in English. It turned out that the man was 53-year-old Cary Dolego, an American who last year stood in elections for Governor of Arizona, and had travelled to Ukraine to meet the love of his life.

Mr Dolego received less than 0.01 percent of the vote when he stood as a Green Party candidate for state governor, and unfortunately his attempts to find love in Ukraine appear to have been equally ill-fated.

Before travelling across the Atlantic, Mr Dolego was featured in a US television show about internet dating and revealed his hope that he would find a wife on his trip. The father of three, who has already been married twice, said he was in contact with a number of Ukrainian women, and was most excited about Yulia, who had sent him racy photographs and poetry.

"The ladies of Ukraine are known for being... uh... Well, they're marriage minded," he said at the time. "They seem to cherish relationships with a deep longing to be in one, and so they're not as apt to leave it, not as apt to walk away from it."

But when Mr Dolego arrived in the city of Odessa, there was no sign of his beloved Yulia, and he apparently moved on to Chernovtsy, near Ukraine's border with Romania, in search of other women he had met over the internet.

His bank account was frozen however, and with no money, he took to living on the streets. The former politician is now recovering in a hospital in Chernovtsy, where he is being treated for pneumonia, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

Thousands of Western men, mostly from the US, travel to Ukraine every year on specially organised "love tours". Companies organise "socials" involving bikini contests and flirty banter facilitated by translators, where the men are introduced to Ukrainian women, often decades younger than them, keen to marry a foreigner.

Cynics say that the tours are glorified prostitution, with the women mainly from poor backgrounds and looking for a marriage of convenience to enable a quick move abroad.

The "Ukrainian bride" is also a common internet scam, with thousands of men being tricked into sending large sums of money to fictional Ukraine-based women apparently interested in getting to know them. It was not clear whether such a scam was the source of Mr Dolego's money problems, or why his bank account had been frozen.

A video has been released of a dishevelled Mr Dolego perched on his hospital bed, explaining that he was still hoping to get in touch with the love of his life, the elusive Yulia. "She probably wouldn't recognise me, because I have been wearing a very distincfully (sic) different Russian hat," he said, explaining away her no-show.

"I mean, looking at me now, would you recognise me if I looked like this?" he asked the interviewer, donning the black fur hat to demonstrate how hard it would have been for his beloved to locate him.

He finished his interview with a video appeal: "Yulia, I love you dearly, and I am hoping that we can finally make contact."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Marketing Specialist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Renewable Energy compa...

Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?