On February 14, 1999, the new Kiev night gay-club "Heaven" hosted the contest "Mister Gay Ukraine-98" announced by the Ukrainian magazine "Odyn Z Nas" (One Of Us). According to the publication, over one hundred people from all across the country applied in response to the offer. The jury, consisting of the magazine's representatives, a cinema and TV director, a designer and a representative of gay-biz, took the creative approach to the evaluation of the contenders. The competition was won by the young man from Poltava named Vlad, "who demonstrated the highest level of preparedness to the event and, probably, the greatest responsibility".
"As to spectators, their opinions at times were different from that of the jury. Some expected an overtly erotic show and thought that the contest turned out to be too artsy and somewhat refined chaste. Others were shocked by the very fact of the festival's holding, as they got used to restraining their own emotions and conceal their preferences from the people around", the magazine tells.