Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Russian Propaganda Can't Beat Awkward Honesty

Canada's foreign minister would do better to answer questions about her ancestry directly.
Questions about her grandfather.

Questions about her grandfather.

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Last week, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland opened a can of worms by dismissing references to her family's World War II history as Russian disinformation. That wasn't entirely true, and in the current climate, history is politics.

Freeland, a prominent journalist turned politician, was banned from entering Russia for her fiercely pro-Ukraine stand. When she became foreign minister in January, Moscow refused to lift the ban. Soon, the story of her maternal grandfather, Michael (Mykhailo) Chomiak, was circulating on pro-Russian websites.