The selling points are abundant farmland, relative safety and a country that holds tight to traditional Christian values.
What is not said — but clearly understood — is how this fits neatly into the identity politics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The West may view Putin largely as a strategic and military adversary. Yet inside Russia, much of his support grows from the idea of Russia as the caretaker for a white, Christian and old-style order — rejecting “so-called tolerance, genderless and infertile,” in Putin’s own words in 2013.
Such comments have helped elevate Putin’s stature among populists and nativist-driven political movements in the West. And, within Russia, they have boosted the efforts of political insiders such as Vladimir Poluboyarenko, a government liaison from the Stavropol region in southern Russia.