Russian and Ukrainian dating sites and matchmaking services can be very expensive. Many Western men seeking a woman from Ukraine or Russia would like to know whether it is really possible to meet a perfect woman for life through Russian social networks like VK.ru (VKontakte) or less expensive dating sites which are specialized in local (Russian) dating.
I published Mamba.ru review 5 years ago, so may years ago. Mamba.ru has changed its design and optimised dating service features. Therefore, I decided to update the review with a new information and service analysis. I would highly appreciate your feedback on this dating website.
This review was written by one of my readers, Ralph, who tried the dating services of Mamba.ru. I added new information about basic and premium features.
What is Mamba.ru?
Mamba.ru is the largest freemium dating site. The site was established in 2002, originally available only for Russian customers. Nowadays, Mamba.ru is not only the market leader in Russia. The dating portal is also the No. 1 for all Russian-speaking users abroad.
There are more than 6 million profiles. The site is freemium, that means that you can create a profile with unlimited photo upload, instant messaging service, photo-rating and an interactive diary for free. If you would like to use additional services, you need to buy premium services.
Free at Mamba.ru:
VIP Membership fees:
The site is available in several languages, including English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and also in Slavic languages. Russian remains the communication language No.1.
I have to mention that most of the Mamba’s users seek people who are geographically close to themselves. It is a known fact that about 75% of Internet dating site members meet other people who live within 20 miles of their home (unless this is an International dating site.
Here men and women look for partners abroad). And it is very common that Mamba’s users select people who are in their local area.
Who is this dating site good for?
I would recommend you Mamba.ru if you can speak Russian a little bit (not every girl in Russia and Ukraine can speak English) and if you can travel to your target location in order to meet the girl in person.
“Why?”, you would like to ask me. The answer is because most of the Russian and Ukrainian women on Mamba.ru are not interested in marrying a Western man originally; very few ladies have some interest in Western men at all (sometimes they want to chat with them in order to improve their English). If you live in Russia / Ukraine or the near abroad and look for a hot date for the weekend, Mamba is a great alternative for you.
Features of Mamba.ru
In terms of functionality the site is one of the most innovative dating sites I’ve seen, giving the site a very playful touch. For example you can use this site to find travel buddies besides of the usual love, friends and dates.
Registration is incredibly easy as you can login with your VK, google, twitter or Facebook profile. I tried out the Facebook option and it even imported my Facebook profile pictures.
The site also features a REAL-status function, where Mamba send you a confirmation code to your cell phone number thereby confirming that you’re a real person. REAL status is a protection feature and most ladies require you to have real status.
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On Mamba.ru the quality of your photo is everything that counts
There is a TOP100 functionality which always presents two pictures of the gender you’re interested in and you select the one you like more. By choosing one girl (A) over another (B), the system awards 1/20 of the points of girl B to girl A.
The TOP100 game primarily selects girls living close to where you live, and it’s therefore a great way of getting yourself acquainted with girls you’re possibly interested in. The girl which you voted into the TOP100 gets notified that you voted for her, and she can then contact you or vice versa (if a girl voted you into the TOP100 you get notified).
There is also a leader game, where you pay money to be the leader in your region (thereby being featured dominantly in the leader box) until somebody else pays more money. Other uses of credits are sending virtual gifts to draw the attention of this woman to your profile.
This might be useful for contacting women who are swamped by messages, mostly women in the TOP100. The last use of credits is VIP status, which gives you the possibility of more search options, being featured at the top of the search results and being able to be invisible.
How does the online dating process on Mamba?
I’m mentioning this because Mamba just had a Gentlemen’s Contest, which is a combination of the gift / leader game. The guys who spent the most money and the girls who received the most roses are siloviki. You can easily recognize a siloviki guy by his pictures with a cell phone on his ear or a siloviki girl writing, ‘she’s looking for an alpha male’ or having received many gifts.
On the one hand I was quite shocked that there are many more siloviki (supporting people) than I thought, on the other I was relieved by the sheer number of women despising siloviki behavior. This is best exemplified by the ladies’ comments on a photo of the user “Sergey Sergey” who won the Gentlemen’s contest (in parentheses if the lady has received gifts or not, all ladies are stunningly good-looking):
This is how a man should look like! [many gifts] – Alpha-male! [no gifts] – Superman! [many gifts] – Ladies, he’s married! [no gifts] – Handsome! [many gifts] – Brutally handsome! [gifts] – Yes, a brutal man and intelligence in his eyes… [no gifts].
Most ladies and gentlemen are not looking for a partner abroad, but with 23 million profiles, you will soon find out that there are more men and women who are actually looking for contact abroad than you might wish for. They might be looking for marriage, but also for a conversation partner or whatever. Contact is very easily established, but just as easily lost.
Good pictures are quintessential for dating ladies on mamba. I would suggest to my fellow gentlemen to start taking pictures with a good camera and to ask your best buddy to take pictures on your next skiing trip with your face clearly visible in the foreground and you thinking, you will be sending those pictures to a supermodel.
If you’re not interested in girls from your city you can always set a different city in your profile, like Odessa or Kiev (e.g. for voting in the TOP100). But if you do such a thing, I recommend mentioning in your profile that you’re actually not living in Odessa or Kiev.
The disadvantages of Mamba.ru
Rule of Law / Good Governance
My profile has been blocked three times, and I’m still figuring out why they did it. I’ve got one hunch, I posted twice a link to personal pictures, nothing special; but the links were mistaken for posting links for personal gain (which is forbidden). Instead user support told me that my pictures did not comply with their posting standards and deleted ALL of my profile pictures. They say in their user terms that you’re not allowed to post pictures which have (significantly) been modified in a graphic editor or are of poor quality.
Together with the requirement that the pictures can only feature you, this more or less disqualified all of my pictures, because most of my pictures were cropped. There are however a lot of pictures of people on the site, which have been taken by a professional photographer and therefore have been modified in a graphic editor (e.g. Photoshop). Interpreting the user terms in this way also defeats the purpose of importing Facebook profile pictures, as Facebook acts as an image editor for the purpose of cropping pictures.
Online dating scam on Mamba.ru
This incident also implies that there must be scammers or at least dishonest people on this site. Or at least people who have pictures who do not correspond with what they are in reality. To be fair, it should be mentioned that there are now many Africans on this site trying to contact you with questionable profiles and pictures.
For example, one (white) English girl contacted me and proposed to move the conversation on Skype, I then googled her first and last name and Google only found black women with that first and last name.
Russian / Ukrainian ladies in your area are less inclined to date you, the westerner. They might have had bad experiences with Western men and are on mamba.ru to find Russian men. And you might find them not of the same quality as the ones you can find in Russia and the Ukraine.
Personally I find it hard to start a conversation with someone who doesn’t write anything in their profile. Most women contacted me, writing: Hello. Or: Privet.
Then I stare for a long time onto the white screen and wonder how Russian and Ukrainian men would start a conversation.
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Conclusion: Use or not to use Mambra.ru
In general, you can try as the fees for Mamba premium membership is not expensive. On the other hand, you need to be aware of difficulties to use this site as a Western man. The profiles of the users are not verified (except mobile number verification) so there is a big chance to be scammed as well. The response rate is very low and many Russian and Ukrainian women registered on this site cannot speak a foreign language or just are not interested in communication in English.
I want to believe that there is a good chance to find a woman for life. But the site has its difficulties for these purposes.
About the blogger: Krystyna is an International dating blogger, coach and iDate speaker. She is on mission to help Western men to understand foreign women better and how to succeed on the International dating websites.
Get her Ukrainian Dating Ebook “Avoiding Online Dating Scams” and learn how to spot and avoid romance fraud online.