WEIGHT: 67 kg
Sex services: Dinner Dates, French Kissing, Fetish, Bondage, Domination (giving)
Where the road turned off to Vydrapusk Otter's Chute , there was an overgrown garden with a white plaster statue of Mother Russia, beckoning with one hand, with the other protecting a child. Could that be it? On closer inspection, I noticed that the lips of Mother Russia and of the child had been painted a bright carmine red. That was all. The monument was not defaced in any other way. It was hard to be sure. Kids might have done it for a joke. But when I entered the village of Domoslavl, there could be no mistake.
A teenage girl, dressed in white like the statue and with lips painted the same shade of red, was sitting on a bench. Down the whole length of the village, outside the fairytale wooden cottages, other girls were sitting on benches in the gathering dusk. It was as my source had said. Here, on the edge of the Valdai lake district, one of the most beautiful national parks in European Russia, the population was reduced to such poverty that young women were selling themselves as prostitutes to passing drivers.
The war memorial marked the start of the sex zone. Last August, I drove up the same road and saw country people hawking buckets of berries, and workers from the Red May crystal factory, paid in kind rather than cash, trying to sell goblets and vases by the roadside. A year is a long time in Russian politics. Three prime ministers have come and gone. But ordinary Russians have only got poorer.
How do you start a conversation with a prostitute? In Domoslavl, it was all so obvious that the conversation happened naturally. She introduced herself as Katya. Soon she was joined by a fat lass in a white blouse, also called Katya. And a woman with straggly blond hair called Ira. And a giggly girl in velvet called Vika. They were working.
They were ready to serve clients, to be sure. But consciously or unconsciously, they were also making a statement. By theidentification with the statue, they were saying: "We and our country have come to this. With a pimp hovering in a nearby shop doorway - he made a note of my car registration number - our conversation was necessarily terse.