But the poor are the main risk group, and a third of women who grew up in Russian female orphanages become involved in sexual labor within a year of starting adult life, experts say.Outright abductions are rare: Victims are usually duped into traveling in the hope of a new job, and instead find themselves in a brothel, where they are abused in order to break their will.
The figure is likely larger by an order of magnitude, given that most such cases involve more than one victim.
One of the most popular websites for Moscow prostitutes, Intim City.nl, which gives visitors the option of browsing women by nationality, was predictably dominated by Russians (2,300 women), but the "black women" category was the second most populous group with 236 entries.
Only drug dealing is more profitable than sex trafficking as far as illegal activities go, Timofeyeva said.
Statistics are scarce, but data from Russia's Interior Ministry obtained by The Moscow Times contained about 900 cases of human trafficking, exploitation and involvement in prostitution over the first nine months of 2013.
Russia ranked as the country with the sixth-biggest slave population in the world — 1 million people — in a fresh annual report by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation released last week.
The report put the total number of slaves among 167 countries of the world at 35 million.