These four articles from 1989 show that Chystia
Freeland, her family, her community of ultranationalist Ukrainians, and the
mainstream corporate media all agreed that involvement in a foreign
government's political process was not only acceptable, it was to be
Contrast this with Chrystia Freeland's 2017 allegations (supported by these
same communities) that the exposure of her maternal grandfather as a Nazi
propagandist was an example of Russian meddling in Canada's political
process. In reality, it was not Russians who exposed her grandfather.
City woman in U.S.S.R.
tells KGB to get lost
DON RETSON Journal Staff Writer. Edmonton Journal; Edmonton, Alta.
[Edmonton, Alta]28 Apr 1989: B6.
An Edmonton woman studying in Ukraine
is alive and well after thumbing her nose at the Soviet secret police.
Halyna Freeland said her daughter Chrystia told the KGB to get lost when
they invited her in for talks in Kiev earlier this month.
"Am I proud? You bet," said Freeland, an unsuccessful NDP candidate for
Edmonton Strathcona in the last federal election.
The younger Freeland, a Harvard University student studying Russian language
and literature, is on a one- year exchange program in the Soviet Union.
She's due to return to Boston early next week.
Freeland phoned her 20-year-old daughter Wednesday after hearing "through
the grapevine" that Chrystia had been arrested and detained.
In fact, she said Chrystia told her she'd refused the KGB invitation to meet
with them. That angered the Soviets, who fired off a letter to the Canadian
embassy in Moscow, saying: "Your national is a well- known troublemaker and
you should keep better control over your citizens."
Freeland said Chrystia had been fined three rubles (about $5 Canadian) for
being found on a subway without a ticket.
She believes the KGB planned to use the fine as a pretext to interrogate her
daughter about a Ukrainian organization fighting for greater political
freedom. Chrystia was elected to the organization's board of directors after
speaking at a recent conference.
Freeland said she didn't ask her daughter about the ticket. She said
Chrystia was reluctant to say much on the phone, figuring the Soviets would
be monitoring the call.
Freeland said she's convinced her daughter made the right decision in
refusing to meet with the KGB.
She noted a second Edmonton student on the exchange program, 27-year-old
Ostap Skrypnyk, was recently detained by police for allegedly interfering
with Soviet elections.
Skrypnyk, a University of Alberta graduate student, was detained for an hour March 25 for allegedly
carrying posters calling for residents in the Ukrainian city of
Lvov to boycott the March 26 elections.
But his sister, Xenia Bubel of Edmonton, said her brother denied having put
up the posters, and said Soviet officials later apologized to Canadian
authorities for what they termed "an unfortunate mix-up."
University of Alberta professor Bohdan Krawchenko, who arranged the exchange program, said
the idea of the program is for Canadian students to interact with Ukrainian
But, he added, "it's the kind of thing the local boys in the KGB don't like.
They'd prefer to have people who go there and drink beer all day."
Credit: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL
Word count: 415
Student `glasnost' chilly
RETSON, DON. Edmonton Journal; Edmonton, Alta. [Edmonton, Alta]20 May 1989: B2.
Chrystia Freeland is thrilled to be back in
Edmonton after a student-exchange program in
Ukraine -- that goes double for Soviet authorities.
One Soviet newspaper vilified the Harvard University scholarship student as
an "anti-Soviet bourgeois nationalist."
Soviet authorities also complained to the Canadian embassy in Moscow that
Freeland, 20, was "a well-known trouble-maker."
That's not how it began, though, for the feisty, free-spirited daughter of
Halyna Freeland, New Democrat candidate for Edmonton Strathcona in the last
Freeland said Soviet officials couldn't say enough good things about her
when she arrived in Kiev last October to study Russian history and
But her personal "glasnost" with Soviet authorities cooled after she
accepted an invitation to speak at a Ukrainian language conference in
Handsome young Russian men started showing up at her door unannounced: one
night it would be a blond hunk, the next night a suave, dark-haired man.
They'd gaze into her eyes, she chuckled, then start talking about Western
technology, or inquire what she knew about certain Ukrainian nationalists.
A trip outside Kiev by the aspiring journalist to interview a Ukrainian
dissident turned into a particularly chilling experience.
When she left the man's home, a local militia man was waiting outside his
door wanting her to sign some sort of statement. Freeland talked long enough
to find out what he wanted, then excused herself saying she didn't want to
miss her bus.
Police were waiting for her in the next town, but Freeland avoided them by
jumping off the bus in the middle of nowhere, hitch-hiking part of the way
back to Kiev. Before getting off the bus, Freeland said she handed notes of
the earlier interview to a travel companion, who stuffed them down her bra.
Back in Kiev, Soviet authorities began phoning her, demanding she come in
for an interview. Freeland politely told them to get lost.
Her scariest encounter, she said in an interview, was also her last night in
Kiev. Four men, two of them KGB officers, showed up at her dorm demanding
that she answer their questions.
Again, Freeland refused to talk, ignoring threats that she wouldn't be
allowed to leave for Moscow the following day if she didn't co-operate.
The four Soviet agents also threatened to confiscate her passport, but
Freeland said they backed off when she told them it was the property of the
"I was incredibly nervous," she recalled of the lengthy stalemate.
Despite her numerous run-ins with police and authorities, and despite the
fact university courses were spiced heavily with Marxist dogma, Freeland
said she gained a great deal from the exchange program.
Black & White Photo; Edmonton Journal; Harvard University exchange student
Chrystia Freeland . . . Soviet authorities labelled her `a well- known
Credit: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL
Word count: 465
Soviet trip a nightmare, student says
The Ottawa Citizen; Ottawa, Ont. [Ottawa, Ont]24 May 1989: E3.
EDMONTON (CP) _ University student Chrystia Freeland is thrilled to be home
in Edmonton after her student exchange
Soviet authorities may be just as thrilled.
One Soviet newspaper vilified Freeland, a Harvard University scholarship
student, as an ''anti-Soviet bourgeois nationalist.''
Soviet authorities also complained to the Canadian embassy in Moscow that
Freeland, daughter of former Edmonton federal NDP candidate Halyna Freeland,
was ''a well-known trouble-maker.''
The 20-year-old aspiring journalist said Soviet officials couldn't say
enough good things about her when she arrived in Kiev last October to study
Russian history and literature.
But her personal glasnost with Soviet authorities cooled after she accepted
an invitation to speak at a Ukrainian language conference in February.
She said handsome young Russian men started showing up at her door
unannounced, talking about Western technology or inquiring what she knew
about certain Ukrainian nationalists.
And a trip outside Kiev to interview a Ukrainian dissident turned into a
particularly chilling experience.
When she left the man's home, a member of the militia was waiting outside
his door wanting her to sign a statement, which she refused.
She said she left by bus, but suspecting police would be waiting for her in
the next town, got out in the country and hitchhiked part of the way back to
Kiev. Before she left the bus, she gave the notes from the interview to a
She said that when she was back in Kiev, Soviet authorities began phoning
her, demanding she come in for an interview, which she refused.
She said that during her last night in Kiev, four men, two of them KGB
officers, showed up at her dorm demanding that she answer their questions.
She said she refused to say anything and ignored their threats that she
wouldn't be allowed to leave for Moscow the following day.
She said they also threatened to confiscate her passport but backed down
when she told them it was the property of the Canadian government.
''I was incredibly nervous,'' she said. ''It was just terrifying. ''
Word count: 343
Ukraine facing real challenge
Freeland, Chrystia. Edmonton Journal; Edmonton, Alta. [Edmonton, Alta]20 Sep
I am an Albertan, but according to PRAVDA UKRAINY, the organ of the Central
Committee of the Ukrainian republic, I am an agent of bourgeois imperialism
intent on destroying the Soviet state. My crimes include interpreting for
foreign reporters, writing articles in Western newspapers, meeting
dissidents and riding a bus without paying the five-cent fare.
When these allegations were first made last May I was certain that I would
never return to the U.S.S.R. and that my Soviet friends and family would
suffer for their association with me. Instead, I was allowed back into the
Soviet Union two weeks ago to attend
the founding congress of the Ukrainian People's Front.
People whom I had expected to shun me embraced me and apologized for the
perfidy of their press. I was warmly applauded when I greeted the congress
in the name of the Ukrainian-Canadian Committee [since renamed the Ukrainian
Canadian Congress] and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.
Six months ago Ukrainian party bosses were uniformly critical of the
fledgling people's movement. But many have since decided that the time has
come to make conciliatory noises. One Ukrainian apparatchik went so far as
to call for the resignation of his own boss, the general secretary of
Ukraine, in his address to the congress.
Even within the army, the ultimate guarantor of party control, rifts are
beginning to appear. An Armenian colonel, who was elected as a deputy to the
Supreme Soviet for the western Ukrainian city of Rivne, assured the
delegates he had "heard rumors that some forces were preparing to turn the
army on the people, but so long as there are colonels like myself this will
never happen. We will never turn our armies on our people."
The apparat's control of the press is also slipping. Many foreign reporters
noted how little media coverage the Ukrainian People's Movement congress
received in comparison with the live television broadcasts of the founding
meetings of the Baltic Popular Fronts.
But Leonid Kravchuk, the ideology chief of the republic, denied that the
critical and scanty reporting of the congress was in obedience to his
directives. But his words to the congress were undermined by a rebel
newspaper editor who said that Kravchuk had ordered him to use only material
from the official press agency.
Just as splits are beginning to appear in the leadership, opposition forces
are working hard to present a unified front. Delegates at the three-day
founding congress regularly broke into chants of "Unity! Unity!" Miners from
the Donbass who went on strike in August vowed that they would support the
movement led by writers and academics.
Russians, Jews, Bulgarians, Armenians, Koreans, and Hungarians addressed the
congress as representatives of Ukraine's minorities. Eager to avert the
development of political groups opposed to the popular movement, like those
which have formed in the Baltics and Moldavia, delegates cheered
non-Ukrainian speakers with particular fervor.
There is no doubt about who this broad coalition has united to oppose: the
party apparatus which controls Ukraine and the
Soviet Union. But opposing the
apparatus is a delicate business. Despite signs that the apparatchiks' grip
on power is wavering and the increasing number of party careerists who are
gambling on the opposition, everyone fears a crackdown.
Some believe the only safety lies in supporting Mikhail Gorbachev's
initiatives. As Ivan Dziuba, a Ukrainian writer who enjoys tremendous public
support for his courageous opposition to Russification in the 1960s
explained: "We must support perestroika because the alternative to
perestroika is not a gentle dissolution of the union, as some people think,
but rather the creation of a fascist state under the guise of orthodox
Other delegates were less trusting. They accused Gorbachev of being no more
than the modernizer of a despotic state and pointed to his reaffirmation of
the leading role of the Communist party as proof of his reluctance to
embrace genuine political pluralism.
But even Gorbachev's critics prefer him to his conservative rivals in the
Politburo. The challenge for the Ukrainian People's Movement is to find ways
of pressing for democracy and sovereignty without playing into the hands of
reactionaries or diluting its own program. A lot depends on how skillfully
the Ukrainians manage to reconcile these conflicting demands.
Chrystia Freeland is an Edmontonian studying history and literature at
Word count: 713
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report about the propaganda careers of Chrystia Freeland and her grandfather