Kyiv’s women rated as world’s most beautiful

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Feb. 10, 2012, 1:03 a.m. | About Kyiv — by Brian Bonner


Brian Bonner

Brian Bonner has served as the chief editor of the Kyiv Post since 2008. He also held the job in 1999, three years after first arriving in Ukraine to teach journalism. Bonner is a veteran American journalist who spent most of his professional life with the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, where he covered international, national and local news during a nearly 24-year career in which he was a staff writer and an assigning editor. For American newspapers, he has reported from abroad in Russia, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. Bonner left the St. Paul newspaper in 2007 to become the associate director of international communications at the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a member of the core teams with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe during six election observation missions in Ukraine, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. To contact: email, Facebook at, Twitter @BSBonner, Skype at brian.bonner1959.

This will not come as news to people who live here, but Kyiv's women have just been rated as the world's most beautiful. Traveler’s Digest, an online magazine, gave top marks to Kyiv women – knocking the Swedish beauties of Stockholm down a notch to No. 2 among the top 10 cities.

“Kyiv is, without a doubt, home to the world’s most beautiful women. A visit to Kyiv is truly awe-inducing. It’s almost hard to believe that women this beautiful even exist. They’re also less intimidating and more friendly than their Russian counterparts.Check out Kyiv in the summertime, when Hydropark Island on the Dnipro River becomes a hot spot for sunbathing Ukrainian beauties,” Traveler's Digest wrote.

This is Ukraine’s first appearance on the top list since the publication started ranking cities in 2006, said Hong Kong-based editor Dakota Smith. “We had not sent travel writers to Ukraine before last year, ” he said.

Ukrainian women are beautiful and quite interesting and intelligent

- Dakota Smith, editor.

The award is based on the opinions of the site’s 10 travel writers – not all of whom have been to Kyiv, but who collectively have visited 100 cities.

Smith has been to Kyiv only once, in September for a week, but liked what he saw.

“They are stunning. They are elegant. Tall. Brunettes. Blondes. Light eyes and friendly as well,” Smith raved. “I’ve studied Russian. It’s not very good, but people are willing to talk with me and have conversations.They seem much more approachable than in Moscow and a few other places in Eastern Europe.”

Even though Smith is 24 and single, he came and left without any romantic attachments. “I went to school with a girl who lives in Kyiv,” he said. “We went to dinner. That’s about it.”

Smith was smitten not only by physical beauty, but rather by characteristics that he hopes will help Ukrainian women shake an unfair reputation of them abroad as mail-order brides and as providing a destination for sex tourists, a sort of Bangkok of the north.

“People there are so educated. You can have conversations about literature, art and philosophy,” said Smith, a Canadian-American.

"Ukrainian women are beautiful and quite interesting and intelligent.”

Smith also thinks that Ukraine will hold the top spot for some years to come.

“I think Kyiv will be there [at the No. 1 position] for awhile,” Smith said. “Stockholm was No. 1 for a long time and it’s now No. 2. So there’s not a big dropoff.”

Only time will tell if this reputation leads to a tourist boom. But, considering the unfortunate ways that Ukraine makes international news - Chornobyl, corruption, fistfights in parliament, oligarchs buying up expensive real estate abroad, homeless people freezing in the streets - this is an honor worth savoring.

Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner can be reached at
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Eugene Byelyakov Feb. 10, 2012, 1:59 a.m.    

It is definitely a matter of taste indeed.

My experiences of eyesight delight during my trips in 2011 would put Moscow as the number one. Sydney would be a solid performer, thanks to its influx of migrants. New York has proven to be quite a disappointment (as always).. Kiev... Cannot recall a single occasion of being overwhelmed....

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rcd1 Feb. 10, 2012, 2:17 a.m.    

You are right as it is in the end a matter of taste by the individual. But this was a colection of many writers and their travels so I think it does have some merit. I would have to say my experience in Russia does not concur with yours. I found Russians including the women to be quite cold, stern, sometimes rude and even sometimes stoic in their attitudes and manners of communication... especially to unknown people. There is a little warming once they know you and especially if they need or want something from you but the basic nature is still not in my opinion as warm or openly friendly as Ukrainians. Ukrainians tend to be a little ahead of the Russians in that department &quot;Friendliness&quot;. Haven't been to Australia yet (or the African continent yet... only continents haven't been there yet) but I'll get there at some time in the future and keep in mind your assessment. Hope its good!

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Edward Savich Feb. 13, 2012, 10:38 p.m.    

I have been to Ukraine only once but i found Lviv to be full of interesting/pretty women. Kiev was a bit more difficult to see them :) its sad that smaller cities are not included on this list.

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rcd1 Feb. 10, 2012, 2:05 a.m.    

Ditto... and a great honor that speaks very highly of Ukraine and Ukrainian women. I am an American and I've lived in Germany for 3 years, been to most of the Western European countries, been to Russia, lived in Japan, lived in Korea, toured in many other Asian countries as well, been to South America.... but I would totally, totally agree. Ukraine by far has the most beautiful and very intelligent women of all... including my country the U.S. and birth home of Chicago (I currently live in Atlanta). Kiev is a fantastic wonderful city full of amazing things and people beginning with the beautiful and intelligent women. I've been to Kiev and Ukraine many, many times during the past almost 5 years and would totally agree with this new honor. Congrats to all of the great women of Ukraine. It is a great international honor above all nations and great cities to receive.

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Jaroslaw Sawka Feb. 16, 2012, 8:43 p.m.    

I love 'em ...

as I've said before!

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