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      Whores On Wheels

      By David Wesley

      March 31, 2006

      A real, live Moscow whore market. Photo by John Heisel

      Moscow is awash in whores. They come to Russia’s capital, the lone island of wealth in a Eurasian ocean of wretched poverty, from all over the former Soviet Union.

      If you’ve got wheels, you can cruise the hundreds of outdoor whore markets, each of which boasts between 20 and 40 whores.

      One prostitute stands on a busy street. You pull over and tell her you want a girl. She then yells out to a waiting car, which leads you to a side street, where the tochka (meeting point) is.

      Then a very business-like older woman, or mamochka, asks you which class of girl you want: $130, $170, or $300. They are ranked by attractiveness. The girls wait in cars, and when called, pour out and line up in front of your headlights. All around them are scary dudes in tracksuits eating sunflower seeds.

      We visited three tochkas to find out what a dollar really buys in the new Russia.

      Tochka #1: We were offered six whores. We chose to speak to a small black-haired girl named Masha.

      Vice: If we want something more, do we have to pay extra?

      What do you want, anal?

      Can we photograph you kissing a fax machine for $80?


      Tochka #2: We talked to Yulia, a redhead in a pink-black outfit.

      Vice: Who did you root for, Rocky Balboa or Dolph Lundgren?


      The evil Russian guy in Rocky IV.

      If you show it to me I’ll tell you. I love movies!

      Would you yell “Rocky! Rocky!” while watching it with me if I paid you $50?


      How about “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

      I’d do that for free! [Laughs]

      Tochka #3: This was a massive whore market behind the Olympic Stadium, in a big car lot packed with eager buyers. We talked to a girl in a cheap fur coat and jeans. Her name was also Yulia.

      Vice: I have a big NATO flag on my wall. Would you—

      A what?

      Do you know what NATO is? The military alliance?

      Mamochka: What the fuck are you talking about, young man? Go back into the car, Yulia. [In English] Goodbye!


      Topics: Moscow, Russia, prostitutes, sex work


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