White farmers from South Africa are being courted by Russian officials. There are motivations that stretch beyond land expropriation, though.
South Africa’s white farmers are being courted by Russia, according to a report in the Washington Post. Landowners perturbed by land expropriation proposals in Mzansi are now being invited to ply their trade 6 000 miles away.
Official data estimates that there are just under 10 000 South Africans living in the Russian Federation. That number could soon grow, however, as the likes of Vladimir Poluboyarenko begin touting their homeland as the ideal destination for concerned farmers.
Poluboyarenko is government liaison from the Stavropol region in southern Russia. He organises these tours in order to sell Russia to these farmers, and he had a very simple message for “Boers” looking for somewhere else to call home:
“I want them to know that Russia can be their mother country, too.”
TWP went to visit Puluboyarenko when he was entertaining some South African guests earlier this month. They followed both the government official and the visitors as they inspected fields and potential plots on the outskirts of the Moscow metropolitan area.
Peter du Toit, 39, was being given the star treatment by his Russian envoy. He told the publication about his rather pragmatic views of land expropriation, and feels that he has no choice but to move abroad:
“We understand that our government must listen to the majority of the people. But we don’t want our children to suffer from the roll of the dice.”
Why does Russia want SA’s white farmers?
The motivations are perhaps a little more transparent that Vladimir Putin and co would have you believe. Russia is a very traditional country, with an emphasis on Christian values and an anti-liberal agenda. To all intents and purposes, this suits the white farming communities of South Africa.
Russia is also wary of a “growing Islamic influence” within its borders. Inviting SA’s white farmers to emigrate goes some way to appeasing the country’s need to address its dwindling population numbers, without having to compromise their nationalist policies.
The “farm murders” narrative – pushed by Donald Trump last month – has also spooked local farmers in the country. Despite growing fears, only 0.3% of murders committed in South Africa last year were actually farm killings.