Since the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine, Russia’s sex workers have seen a shift in their parlours as clients were either sent to the frontline or were quick to re-evaluate their family status. Russians who were lucky enough to remain at home have become more family oriented or have reassessed their values in a “live for the moment” spirit.
The co-founder of the Moscow-based operator Kinky Party, Taisiya Blanch, said: “At first, after February 24, there were noticeably fewer people willing to participate. Society was experiencing intense levels of stress — nerves were shot.
“Afterwards demand suddenly jumped.”
Sex workers have still been reporting a hit on revenues since February 2022 but business has been picking up near training sites.
When Putin ordered his country’s mobilisation in September, revenues fell by 30 to 50 percent for the industry, according to online magazine Sekret Firmy.
The hardest hit sex workers were those whose clients were part of the middle class and were able to leave en masse.
Some sex workers said political views also paid a big part in losing clients as some of them would simply not see eye-to-eye on Putin’s war on Ukraine with their regulars.
Kristina, a woman in providing human rights assistance to Russian sex workers, told The Times: “Some were for the war, some were against it.
“Some girls even lost regular customers due to the fact that they did not see eye to eye.”
She also claimed that as a “publicity stunt” sex workers dressed up as Ukrainian soldiers for clients to “punish” them at the beginning of the war in order to attract more people.
It comes as Russian soldiers are struggling to advance on the front in Ukraine.
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Unauthorised use of cell phones by Russian soldiers led to a deadly Ukrainian rocket attack on the facility where they were stationed, according to the Russian military.
Gen. Lt. Sergei Sevryukov said in a statement late Tuesday that phone signals allowed Kyiv’s forces to “determine the coordinates of the location of military personnel” and launch a strike.
The attack, one of the deadliest on the Kremlin’s forces since the start of the war over 10 months ago, occurred one minute into the new year, according to Sevryukov.
It was the latest blow to the Kremlin’s military prestige as it struggles to progress with its invasion of its neighbour and stirred renewed criticism inside Russia of the way the war is being conducted amid a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive.
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Ukrainian forces fired six rockets from a US-provided HIMARS multiple launch system at a building “in the area of Makiivka” where the soldiers were stationed. Two rockets were downed but four hit the building and detonated, prompting the collapse of the structure.
Details of the strike have trickled out in recent days.
UK intelligence officials said Wednesday that Moscow’s “unprofessional” military practices were likely partly to blame for the high casualty rate in Makiivka.
“Given the extent of the damage, there is a realistic possibility that ammunition was being stored near to troop accommodation, which detonated during the strike, creating secondary explosions,” the UK Defence Ministry said in a Twitter post.
In the same post, the ministry said that the building struck by Ukrainian missiles was little more than 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from the front line near Avdiivka, within “one of the most contested areas of the conflict.” Both Makiivka and Avdiivka, a key target of Russia’s grinding offensive in the Donetsk region, lie on the outskirts of its namesake capital.
“The Russian military has a record of unsafe ammunition storage from well before the current war, but this incident highlights how unprofessional practices contribute to Russia’s high casualty rate,” the update added.