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If you ask a woman to pay or to split the bill, you can be assured that you will be going home alone.
It is perfectly normal in Ukraine for men to strike up conversations with women on the streets or basically anywhere.
These questions could be considered intrusive by many, but they are normal in Ukraine.
They may include inquires about salaries, political orientation, religious orientation and similar.
There are no smiles simply for the sake of smiling.
Ukraine also instills strong emphasis on respecting the elders, so one is expected to give up seats to elderly people in the metro, especially if they are veterans of World War II.
Many marriages and long term relationships that we personally know of were formed just by doing the above!
Girls can be very cold initially but if you are cautiously persistent and charming, they may warm up very quickly and give you their number or even go with you to wherever you invite them. It is in some ways the opposite of United States which encourages individualism.
To a large degree the situation is similar in present time.
Police for the most part are despised and hated while government officials are all considered to be corrupt, whether there is basis for it or not is not relevant.
Men can come up to girls sitting on the benches and simply start conversations and see where it leads.