The widely-publicized claim in some controlled media outlets—and rebroadcast by uniformed alternative media outlets—that Russia was going to offer refuge to thousands of white South African farmers, has been dismissed as nonsense by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
This false rumor started in September when an individual Afrikaner farmer family, Johannes Du Toit and his father Leon Francois, were interviewed by RT while touring Russia’s Kaluga region, located around three hours by car from Moscow.
Although there was no mention of a mass move by white farmers, and certainly no talk of any government intervention in their plans, the two Afrikaners indicated they would like to move to Russia. Du Toit in particular has a Russian wife, and therefore has likely the right to move to Russia anyway.
This report was then distorted and taken out of context by a number of other outlets. In particular a throwaway remark by Du Toit to another Russian news outlet that he guessed that “15,000” farmers would move to Russia if they could, was then mixed in to the myth and the “story” emerged that Russia was now offering sanctuary to white farmers.
Even though there was no indication that the story was true, it was spread around by social media and alternative news web sites as fact, leading even publications such as the Washington Post and others to run stories on it.
Now however, Russian Foreign Minister Larov has firmly put the rumors to bed.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Lavrov was asked a question by a journalist from South Africa about Moscow’s supposed plans to offer white South African farmers sanctuary.
“At this time, we are busy with meddling with Catalonia’s elections,” Lavrov replied, keeping a straight face, leading to an outburst of laughter in the room.
There was “no time” for this issue, he added, saying South Africa was “too far” away, before moving on to other issues.
Larov clearly did not want to waste his time at the press conference answering questions about made-up stories, and therefore dismissed it with a joke about claims of Russian interference in elections, this time in Spain.