Meet Our Staff



The Togliatti Bios

Elena (Helen) Bessonnova

Russian Operations & Office Manager

Helen Bessonova is the Togliatti office manager charged with registering the Russian girls profiled on A Volga Girl.


Helen was born and grew up in Togliatti.

Since 2001 she has been A VolgaGirl Russian Operations & Office Manager, as well as a certified translator/interpreter and teacher, and holds A grade in First Certificate in English, a Cambridge Exam.

In 2001 she graduated from Togliatti University, the foreign languages faculty, as a teacher of English and French, and offers close to 20 years of experience in teaching:
- from one-to-one lessons through A VolgaGirl, to group lessons (she taught English at local universities for three years, and at a local language school for two years)
- from adult lessons to children’s and teenagers’ lessons
- from general English classes to business English classes

She was also an integral part in the production of A VolgaGirl documentary for National Geographic ‘Mail-Order Brides’, where she did translations and research, coordinated interviews and travel arrangements.

‘I have been doing this job for over 15 years now, and have yet to get bored with it. Because it never gets boring. Nor does it get old. Seeing successful couples makes this job a very rewarding one, truly. To be honest, this has always been more than just a job to me. What is precious is people's willingness to embrace culture differences and their patience and courage’

A believer in 'We are all a little weird and life’s little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.’

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