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'On the Eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Irkutsk was larger than all of India'

Come and get it! Free land soon up for grabs to every resident in Far East

By 0 and 0 and 0
29 January 2015


One of the most sparsely population regions in the world, the Russian Far East still has about six million residents, although they are scattered across an enormous land mass. Picture: Okhota i Rybalka

Ambitious plans to give each resident of the Russian Far East one hectare of land for free have been given the backing of President Vladimir Putin.

The idea was floated by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev in a bid to help stimulate the economy of the sparsely populated region and entice more people to move across the country.

A total of 614 million hectares of land are currently owned by the state and would effectively be up for grabs in the Far East under the scheme. It could be used for agricultural purposes, for hunting, or as a base for a timber plant or any other business.

Mr Trutnev, who is also the Russian president’s envoy in the Far Eastern Federal District, believes the region has a positive future with the population growing, and less people leaving to move west to other parts of the country.

Free land

Map of the Russian Far East with the key cities. Picture: The Siberian Times

Now he hopes the plan could entice more entrepreneurship by citizens and act as an incentive to help non-residents migrate to the area.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: 'We want to propose creating a mechanism of allocating one hectare of land for free to each resident of the Far East and every person wishing to come to the Far East.

'This land could be used for agribusiness, business, forestry and hunting.'

The idea has many similarities to the way many rural and unoccupied parts of the United States was populated and urbanised in the 19th century.

In 1889, for instance, an estimated 50,000 people lined up to claim their own small share of two million acres available for settlers free of charge in Oklahoma.

It also mirrors the Stolypin agrarian reforms of the early 20th century that saw vast swathes of vacant land in Siberia given to peasants from the overpopulated regions of Russia.

Free land

Free land

'This land could be used for agribusiness, business, forestry and hunting.' Pictures: geogeo,

Under Mr Trutnev's proposals, each resident in the Russian Far East, or each individual willing to move to the area, would be given one hectare – approximately 2.5 acres - of land free of charge.

Giving his broad backing to the scheme, Mr Putin said: 'This is a good idea, and it was already implemented in the Russian history, in Siberia.'

He added that since the modern conditions of agriculture and the modern economy were slightly different today than it was in 1906 it was first 'necessary to study this issue carefully and examine all details'.

One of the most sparsely population regions in the world, the Russian Far East still has about six million residents, although they are scattered across an enormous land mass.

Almost three-quarters of the people live in urban areas including cities such as Vladivostok and Yakutsk.

However, the Far East's population has grown by 1,100 people over the past 12 months, while the number of people leaving has decreased from 27,000 to 20,000.

Mr Trutnev said this was positive news and insisted it was 'just the beginning of the trend'. He added: 'This is why we want to propose that you should consider this measure, which could intensify the trend of the population’s inflow into the Far East.'

Free land

 'Out of every hundred people that moved to Siberia, 30 people were coming back out.' Picture: Dmitry Dkphoto

However, the plans were criticised by independent political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin, who said the Far East is suffering from a 'chronic demographic catastrophe'.

Speaking on TV Rain in Moscow on Monday night, he said: 'I think this will end up nowhere as there will be no fools going there for the sake of a hectare of land. The only thing is that it might possibly hold people that were going to leave the Far East. 

'If you were to compare it to Stolypin, the difference is that Stolypin was giving a big plot of land as the person wanted to take 30 or 50 hectares, along with a favourable tax regime for foreseeable future. 

'It worked even though it also had problems, because out of every hundred people that moved to Siberia, 30 people were coming back out. Now I can be confident that people won’t be going there; so we have the main question on how to stop people leaving.' 

He added: 'There is nothing much you can do to a hectare of land anyway. Yes you can feed your family, but there is no way you can start a serious business on a plot of land this small.'

During their meeting Mr Trutnev and Mr Putin also discussed the establishment of priority development areas in the Far East, and the creation of the free port in Vladivostok.

Comments (42)

How to apply this, and I'm willing to assist and convince Malaysians to lives and work there. We make a better nation with multi-cultural with multi-ethnics living in far east Russia. This will be a good opportunity for people who loves to do the agriculture. Please advise on the application process. Thank you.
Mark Hisham, Langkawi, Malaysia
11/05/2023 23:11
How do you apply for this.
Jackie henderson, North shields.england
11/03/2020 18:36
I would like to know more about how to apply for this. If someone could send me information on how to apply. Thank you
Carla, British Columbia, Canada
17/01/2019 18:59
I'm very interested. Please can you tell me how to get an official application?
Sarah Hedges , toronto canada
16/06/2018 03:36
can I get information about Americans that are willing to move to Russia, and how to apply. I'm a professional and will be willing to teach English or Spanish. family of 4 wife a Respiratory therapist, Husband Business Administration BA, AND A 21 yo business student and a 14 yo student
daniel barragan, long beach ca usa
17/11/2017 03:17
Can I get opportunity to work on plant ecology and environmental pollution studies for lessen the burden of pollutants from the environment effectively.
Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, Jamshed Town Pakistan
01/10/2017 04:13
My country used to do this back in the late 60's and early 70's. The anti-war movement was HUGE on both sides of the border; and many "hippies" took the government up on their offer; some; I believe; are still there. We used to call it "the back to the land movement" But the moral interior of my country has been virtually destroyed; we are just the "teddy bear bum-boy" for the New World Order; and the corporate fascist inverted totalitarian monsters that control the world; and I doubt many would even see the advantage of an offer like that; or have "what it takes" to clear the land and make a go of it! Bravo Mr. Putin...keep rattling their cages!!!
Mose Stephenson, Barrie, Ontario, Canada
29/07/2017 20:35
Please, if anyone could give me information on this. I'm very interested in moving to this part of the world and livingin Russia if possible. Please again any information on application process!!
Please email me

Thank you,
Kyle Hoffman
Kyle Hoffman, Pennsylvania usa
07/07/2017 09:14
Iv been able to gather any news and business info. on the homestead act. But finding the only bit im interested in "the application process" seems to be unavailable.. Why has NO news got that bit of information??
elliott smith, exeter, uk
12/03/2017 18:53
The purpose of my comments is not only to describe my interest, but also to focus your attention that how keen observer I am.
I completed my Master of Philosophy Degree in the Field of Sociology fromBacha Khan Univerity Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan.

The reason I have choose The Great Russia as a Home Town, I believe will help me to understand the goals of sociology.
how to apply , i need help from the authority
07/02/2017 14:26
I want live in free land
Arslan, Pakistan
06/02/2017 11:08
bronya sadomskaya was catcht for brutality in the famely she goes against alex krypnik. alex krypnik must wacht himfelf ithe nearest future.
dots, usa
18/10/2016 02:46
I would like to relate to beautiful Siberia and do forestry
Katalin Jonas, United Kingdom/London/Croydon
07/09/2016 16:41
How can I apply for Russian citizenship to get 2.5 acres land free at Far East area?
Md Hassan Rabby, Bangladesh
16/08/2016 13:05
I've been studying Log Building, Post and Beam Construction and Solar Technology. I design and build off grid cabins. I live with a Russian and she is always telling me to find a Russian Lady and use my skills in Siberia. It looks very similar to where I am now. I'd love to be a pioneer in the Russian Far East. I would build a wilderness lodge and cabins and take people on fishing tours. I'd like to know where to apply. Even if things don't turn out it would be a great adventure and life experience. Better die free than be a slave in the UK
James, British but somewhere in the Canadian Wilderness
10/08/2016 11:04

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