|All Sources > The Current Digest of the Russian Press (DA-CDRP) > The Current Digest of the Russian Press > 1988 > No. 8, Vol. 40|
Urgent Problem: AT WHAT PRICE LOVE?
Author: M. Gurtovoi
FINES VIEWED AS INEFFECTIVE; CRIMINAL PENALTIES, TOUGHER MEASURES NEEDED
Urgent Problem: AT WHAT PRICE LOVE? (By M. Gurtovoi. Trud, July 31, 1987,p. 4. 1,900 words. Abstract:) I recently had occasion to read police reports on the case of L. Duravina, a resident of Kazan who was convicted of running a brothel. Her establishment was patronized by a regular clientelethe city's technical and creative intelligentsia. And the "girls" were not some ignorant, uncivilized creatures; on the contrary, they included engineers and students. Today they continue to work and to study because, absurd as it may seem, legal agencies could bring no charges against themcriminal law stipulates no penalties for selling one's body.
Opponents of prosecution believe that we would be foolish to establish criminal penalties for prostitution: The prostitute goes on trial, but what about the client? What is he, merely a witness? And where do we draw the line between flirtation over an expensive dinner in a restaurant and love for sale, between the innocent encounter and the criminal act? One can't simply brush aside these questions, but nevertheless, just what is prostitution in our country, a few isolated incidents or a genuine phenomenon? Scores of prostitutes loiter outside Moscow's hotels. They are carted off in busloads to the police station, scolded for violating the hotel's regulations and then released, almost with apologies.
Moscow is not typical, of course. But visit a tourist spot in Sochi, where men openly stroll the beaches with girls half their age. No, not their daughters, but the women they are selling. Or take the Taiga Hotel in faraway Bratsk, which serves as a temporary home for foreign specialists. Even though by midnight it is virtually surrounded by a ring of police, I myself watched young but very seasoned women try to break through the barrier. Here, as in the bigger cities, they act brazenly and openly. And what are the ...