The situation is not as bad with abandoned villages as in some former countries. The government has invested plenty of money over the years into agriculture and rural areas to keep people leaving villages and small towns. These money could have been handy if some were left for foreign reserves to protect national currency. But that’s another story
There are abandoned villages which the government puts on sale. The prices for many villages are nominal. Some cost something like $10-$20. But not anyone from the street can buy such a village. There is a contract with a list of requirements potential buyers should meet. The main requirement is to promote the development of the village. Investors buy villages for agritourism, as there is a demand on the market for agritourism. Villages offer people ‘rural hotel’ and many tourist services . I cannot think of a better English term to describe it. Think of a small rural hotel with home-made cooking , sauna and rural activities such as fishing or hiking including some nature attractions.
The guy in the story didn’t just renovated few houses, he renovated the entire village which is a lot of hard work and dedication. There is the website that describes services available to potential tourists in this village : http://www.luga.by/
Good luck to the guy. And a fantastic story.