Are Mennonites Returning to Russia?

Mennonite re-emigration

On 13 December, the English-language “Moscow Times” reporting that Old Colony Mennonite farmers from Chihuahua in northern Mexico were considering emigration to Russia. That story was later picked up by Russian media. A delegation of 11 had visited Aznakeyevo in Tatarstan region last August. Aznakeyevo is located 100 km south of Naberezhnye Chelny, northeast of Samara and east of the Volga River. Some of the delegation had ancestors who were born in Russia, but this particular area had never been settled by Mennonites. Mennonites first emigrated to Ukraine – then part of the Russian empire – from Prussia in the 1780s. Repeated contact in 2013 with Mennonites in Manitoba, who relate to those in Mexico, has not confirmed strong interest in emigration to Russia.


William Yoder, Ph.D.

Berlin, 23 April 2013


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