Plans are in place to build a village in the Moscow region for conservative Americans and Canadians, according to a Russian state media outlet.
The Kremlin-backed RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday reported on the community that caters to expatriates with “traditional” values, writing that construction is expected to begin next year.
While Russia is at odds with the U.S. government, especially in regards to the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken up causes favored by many Western conservatives. He has signed legislation that restricts LGBTQ+ rights, and he enjoyed a closer relationship with former President Donald Trump than with Trump’s Democratic successor to the White House.
RIA Novosti quoted Timur Beslangurov—a partner of VISTA Immigration law firm who assists foreign investors in obtaining residency and citizenship in Russia—as saying “about 200 families want to emigrate [to Russia] for ideological reasons.”
In total, Beslangurov said, tens of thousands of people with no ties to Russia want to move to the country.
The lawyer spoke about the planned project for conservative ex-pats at a legal forum in St. Petersburg, according to RIA Novosti, saying the regional government in Russia had approved plans for the village.
Beslangurov reportedly said traditional Catholics are among the 200 families from the United States and Canada that are looking to move to the Russian village because they “very strongly believe in the prophecy that Russia will remain the only Christian country in the world.”
No Russian officials have announced plans for the village, but Beslangurov said the Moscow region administration has signed off on the project. He also said the community will be financed by the relocating families.
As for why Westerners are seeking to relocate to Russia, Beslangurov cited the spread of progressive values.
“The reason is the propaganda of radical values: Today they have 70 genders, it is not known what will happen next. Many normal people emigrate, including considering Russia, but they face huge bureaucratic problems of Russian migration legislation,” he said.
George Ajjan, international political strategist, told Newsweek that if the report of the village is to be believed, Russia would likely not have too much trouble filling the village with conservatives.
“There are plenty of Americans who have made a choice to live abroad, whether borne of pragmatism and logistic ease, or ideological reasons,” Ajjan said. “Out of 330 million, you could probably populate a small compound in Moscow suburbs with Americans as obsessed with their wokeness victimization narrative as they are willfully ignorant of the harsh realities of living in an authoritarian state.”
Newsweek has reached out to Beslangurov and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.