Russia is pining to build on its budding relationship with American conservatives—literally.
Amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and the American Republican Party splitting on its support for the defending nation, Russian authorities apparently are launching construction of a special village outside Moscow dedicated to conservative-minded Americans and Canadians.
State outlet RIA Novosti reported the news Thursday. Timur Beslangurov, a Russian immigration lawyer, said the village would harbor the likes of some “200 families [who] want to emigrate for ideological reasons.”
That’s not all, apparently. Beslangurov claims tens of thousands of people with no Russian roots would like to move to Russia.
“The reason is the inculcation of radical values: Today they have 70 genders; it is not known what will happen next,” he said.
The Russian lawyer claimed that some of those tens of thousands want to move to Russia because they are traditional Catholics who “very strongly believe in the prophecy that Russia will remain the only Christian country in the world.”
According to the lawyer, the future expats would help fund the village.
Beslangurov’s remarks—manifesting from lazing in an armchair and letting late-night fruitcake programming blare mindlessly at you—mirror the broader posturing of Russia’s government as “traditional” in comparison to the West’s supposed loose liberalism. The red-in-the-face finger-pointing at America has led to some pretty exaggerated propaganda in the past:
On the other hand, Americans are in fact expressing increased desires to flee the United States—not because there are “70 genders” or too many vegetarians, but because of relentless and widespread attacks on abortion rights and LGBTQ people’s civil rights.
Conversely, Russia’s own “traditional” posturing has resulted in policies like policing the “demonstration” of LGBTQ “behavior,” banning Russians from suggesting that being gay is “normal,” and outlawing all forms of media that could be seen as promoting such “propaganda” (violations of the law could incur punishments up to $33,000 in fines, while nonresidents could be expelled from Russia). None of this includes the growing crackdown on free speech, especially when it comes to criticism of the government and the invasion of Ukraine.
Not a very warm environment for non-Russians to move to.