A lot of it is the culture. Take a young woman, for instance, that is 20. She's just getting a start in life and even in countries where marriages aren't arranged, parents play a big role in the future mates of their children. American or Western parents are not typically involved to the same extent that Ukrainian or Estonian parents are. A man ten to fifteen years senior is much more likely to be far along in his career and be somewhat well-off than his younger male counterpart. Stability and security. Two very important things on any parents' checklist, especially in countries not as large or as developed as the US. Yes, there are still countries where people marry on the basis of survival. This idea is somewhat foreign to many in the US because it's such a rare event and all they have known is to marry for love. Many Americans question the practice based on compatibility. As a 20 year old female, what do you have in common with a 32 year old male you have never met. For the majority here, basic survival is not as much of an issue. This practice your referencing is not just in eastern Europe; it is heavily prevalent throughout the Middle East (Yemen is a great example) and eastern Africa. In fact, this marital practice can be found most places throughout the world in areas other than what is known as the "Western" nations. It's not a bad practice, it's just different, and looking at the divorce rates at least here in the states, this may not be such a bad idea. Hope this helped.