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Defunding the Myths and Cults of
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Defunding Cold War Canada
Table of Contents
Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War
propaganda in context
Chrystia Freeland’s media career began in the late 1980s with work for Ukrainian propaganda organs in which her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was deeply involved. Her teenage entry into this employment (at times funded by Canada's government) was likely eased by Chomiak who, having been a Nazi war propagandist, became a fixture among Cold War Canada’s Ukrainian ethnonationalists.
By 1989, at age 20, her political meddling in Ukraine’s separatist movement prompted the USSR to make an official complaint to Canada’s embassy in Moscow. By calling her a "banderite enemy of the Soviet State," they gave her a pariah status that was used to bestow her with media celebrity in Canada.1
Freeland then cleverly leveraged this new-found celebrity to help launch her move from writing for far-right Ukrainian publications into the West’s mainstream corporate press.2
A year later she got more media praise for meddling in Ukraine, and for getting the 2020 equivalent of $85,000 for an Oxford scholarship from the estate of Cecil Rhodes, a prominent white supremacist who was proud to profit from slavery, imperialism and war.3
One reporter, noting her interest in journalism, said: "Freeland says her political activism may not make her an ideal journalist."4 In reality, Freeland’s extremely biased worldview actually made her an "ideal journalist" to serve the West’s Cold War agenda. From an early age, she had proven herself to be a dependable advocate for the West’s deeply ingrained anticommunist/antiSoviet/antiRussian bias.
Another factor in her rapid success was a "chance encounter." In describing what she calls her days as a "kid" in Soviet Kiev, Walrus magazine stated:
One day, she had a chance encounter with financier George Soros.... Soros had travelled to the Ukrainian capital to investigate the possibility of bankrolling nascent pro-democracy groups, and he wanted to talk to someone with an ear to the ground. Freeland, whose mother’s family fled Ukraine and settled in Alberta after World War II, not only spoke the language but had also forged links with student activists. "I was a young, ignorant kid," she recalls. "I had no idea who he was. It was still Soviet times and a bit dangerous to talk indoors, so we went for a walk in a park. But it wasn’t me interviewing him; it was him getting information from me.... I thought, ‘Wow, this is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.’
The Financial Times soon hired her as its Moscow bureau chief. ...[S]he was ‘intensely conscious’ of [having] ... found herself in the midst of the story of a lifetime — a ‘hinge of history.’5
Having this "chance encounter" with a multibillionaire mentor who was funding antiSoviet activists like herself, must have opened doors for "a young, ignorant kid" like Freeland. The official story forged by Freeland is that she entered journalism at age 23 (1991) when she suddenly began writing news for top corporate media. As this legend goes "she began her journalistic career as a stringer for the Financial Times, The Washington Post and The Economist."6 In truth, she had begun her career years earlier with proNazi Ukrainian émigré media.
Freeland’s foray into Ukrainian ethnonationalist émigré media began with a 1979 interview in Student when she was 11. All the children of her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, were writers for this government-funded Ukrainian newspaper.
Encyclopedia of Ukraine
The project’s creator, Volodymyr Kubijovych, was the wartime boss of her grandfather, Michael Chomiak. During the war, Kubijovych led the Nazi-collaborating Ukrainian Central Committee. Kubijovych died in 1985, one year before Freeland’s first job writing for his encyclopedia. Its purpose was to entrench the cultural narratives of Ukrainian nationalism. That the encyclopedia suffers from Holocaust amnesia and the glorification of fascist armies is not surprising considering Kubijovych’s key role in rallying Ukrainians to put their bodies, hearts and minds into aiding the Nazi’s war efforts.
Created with Alberta-government funding in 1976,8 CIUS brought Kubijovych from France to sign a deal to copublish his encyclopedia. One CIUS cosigner was Peter Savaryn, a Ukrainian veteran of the Nazi’s Waffen SS. A 1986 notice of Savaryn’s retirement as the university’s chancellor shared a page of the CIUS Newsletter which noted its hiring of Freeland and her aunt Natalia Chomiak9 (one of Chomiak’s daughters), to work on the encyclopedia.
Chomiak also worked on Kubijovych’s encyclopedia. In fact, in 1978-79, Chomiak moved to Sarcelles, France, where he reunited with his wartime boss to assist with his Encyclopedia of Ukraine.10 When Chomiak died in 1984, mourners were asked to donate to either Kubijovych’s encyclopedia or to the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies,11 whose president was Peter Savaryn.
The Ukrainian News
In the late 1980s, at about age 20, Freeland worked for Ukrainian News12 in Edmonton. This was her second known writing job. "During the Cold War, in reporting on Soviet history," this Catholic weekly, said historian Per Rudling, "followed the standard, shrill narrative found in much of the Ukrainian émigré press."13
When this Canada-wide, Ukrainian-language paper covered the 1959 death of fascist leader Stepan Bandera, it gave glowing details of his heroic "national-revolutionary" efforts. But, said historian Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe, it provided "[n]o information about the atrocities that banderites committed against Jews, Poles and unsympathetic Ukrainians...."14
Freeland’s work for this paper was guided by its editor/publisher, Marco Levytsky. He became editor in 1982, replacing Michael Chomiak.15 For 35 years, Levytsky used the paper to spread their community’s brand of Ukrainian patriotism. In 2017, it merged with New Pathway, a weekly of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada. It represents the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists’ Melnyk faction.
Levytsky’s editorial stance has been critiqued by scholars for repeatedly relying on forged documents that whitewash Ukrainian complicity in the Holocaust. To promote the falsehood that fascist, WWII-era Ukrainian political and military formations were not antisemitic and did not take part in the Holocaust, Levytsky has relied on two falsified documents: (1) the supposed autobiography of Stella Kreutzbach (aka Krentsbakh) and (2) the so-called Book of Facts.16
Levytsky has also stirred controversy with articles and editorials supporting Ukrainian-American Myron Kuropas.
Over the decades, Kuropas has made incessant accusations that Jews were central to victimising Ukrainians before, during and after WWII. This fixation has upset the Jewish community and some Ukrainian scholars like John-Paul Himka, who is Freeland’s uncle and Michael Chomiak’s son in law.17
Working at The Ukrainian News would have consolidated Freeland's already deeply ingrained beliefs about Ukrainian politics, and proven her dedication to promoting their historical narratives.
Freeland’s media career was also aided by The Ukrainian Weekly (UW), North America’s largest Ukrainian paper. Her byline appeared in 1988 and 1990 while doing her BA in Soviet Studies at Harvard. Her views matched the paper’s far-right biases. While exaggerating Soviet flaws, it always turns a blind eye from the fascist Ukrainian-Nazi alliance.
In 1988, Freeland and David Marples co-wrote a UW article on the Holodomor.18 It concluded on the same page as an ad for a book glorifying the Ukrainian Waffen SS as "freedom fighters." These book ads ran in 16 issues of UW in 1988 alone.19
For years, UW ran Myron Kuropas’ antisemitic column. "Jews were the tools of the Polish king" and "during Soviet times," said Kuropus in 2004, they were:
loyal members of the Soviet ruling elite.... Jews were especially well represented in the Soviet secret police.... This same phenomenon is making a comeback.... The age-old Jewish strategy of clinging to those who rule.... What will happen to Jewish oligarchs...? They will simply do what their predecessors have always done: quickly join the power structure.20
In 2001, Kuropas said he hoped "Jewish leaders in North America will cease harassing the Ukrainian Canadian community with canards related to the [Waffen SS] Galicia Division."21 Since the late 1980s, about 150 UW articles have whitewashed this Nazi army, or glorified it for battling Hitler’s main enemy, the USSR.The UW has relied heavily on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, citing it thousands of times.22 Created by the CIA in the late 1940s, it aired nonstop antiSoviet propaganda. The RFE/RL still remains a major weapon in the arsenal of Western propaganda, although it is now funded largely by the foundations of billionaire George Soros.
The RFE/RL has also played a key role in grooming and promoting journalists with Russophobic and anticommunist views.
In 1990, during the USSR’s final days, Freeland and Marples collaborated on an RL interview with a founder of Rukh, Ukraine’s separatist movement.23 Their interview "conducted for RL" at the CIUS, was printed in: (a) Ukrainian Weekly "with RL’s permission," (b) an RFE/RL journal, Report on the USSR,24 and (c) an RFE/RL book, Ukraine: From Chernobyl to Sovereignty.25
Marples’ 1980s career at RFE/RL headquarters in Germany was boosted by the US State Department.26 Until the early 2000s, says historian Rossolinski-Liebe, Marples "euphemized and minimized" fascist Ukrainian "OUN and UPA crimes against Jews, Poles and Ukrainians."27 Having written some 100 UW articles and worked for RFE/RL and CIUS, Marples began teaching history at the Univ. of Alberta.28
In 2010, Marples noted Stepan Bandera’s role in a 1941 pogrom and questioned his hero status. Ukrainian News editor Levytsky then accused Marples of "Putin-style ex-KGB falsification." Toronto-based Stephen Bandera also reacted, saying his grandfather had been "cleared" of all war crimes by Canada’s 1985 Deschênes Commission, and that Marples had used "misinformation" to "smear" his grandfather's name.29
Accusations of a "smear" campaign were also thrown in March 2017 when it came out that Freeland’s grandfather had been a Nazi propagandist. Joining the chorus to denounce Russian authorities who had confirmed the story’s truth, were the Canadian government, far-right Ukrainian groups, and journalists. All echoed Freeland’s branding of the story as a Russian "smear" to undermine Canada’s democracy. While Levytsky damned it as "Russian propaganda," Marples called it "an ominous sign"30 that "Russia has interfered in our affairs."31
Thus defused, a chill was put on further investigations. Not one corporate media outlet has yet revealed Freeland’s own work for fascist-glorifying, Ukrainian émigré groups and publications, including those for which her grandfather had also worked.
References and notes
Here are four news articles from May 1989 that helped launch Chrystia Freeland's mainstream corporate media celebrity as an anticommunist hero in Canada:
Don Retson, "Student 'glasnost' chilly," Edmonton Journal, 20 May 1989, p.14.
"Both sides happy exchange is over," Leader-Post, 23 May 1989, p.11.
Soviet trip a nightmare, student says, Ottawa Citizen, 24 May 1989, p.63.
"Student back from USSR," Red Deer Advocate, 24 May 1989, p.35.
4. Marina Jimenez, "Albertan Wins Rhodes Prize," Edmonton Journal, Dec. 12, 1990, p.22.
Author’s collection of 7 articles http://bit.ly/RhoFree
5. John Loric, "Embedded with the .01 Percent," The Walrus, Jul.21, 2016. http://bit.ly/gs-cf
6. Chris Guly, "Canadian Minister Chrystia Freeland lauds trade deal with her ancestral homeland," Ukrainian Weekly, Jul. 22, 2016.
7. CIUS Newsletter, Nov. 1986, p.12, and CIUS Newsletter, Fall-Winter 1989, p.14.
Read her 8 encyclopedia articles http://bit.ly/FreeEU
8. CIUS, Encyclopedia Ukraine http://bit.ly/euCIUS
9. Op.cit., CIUS Newsletter, Nov. 1986.
10. Ukrainian Archival Records, Provincial Archives of Alberta, p.17. http://bit.ly/ChomFonds
11. Obituary, Chomiak, Michael, Edmonton Journal, Apr. 18, 1984, p.62. http://bit.ly/MC-obit
12. Chrystia Freeland, "My Country and My People," Dec. 12, 2014. http://bit.ly/CF-UN
13. In an email to the author, Jan. 17, 2017, Rudling cited a Ukrainian News article (Nov. 16, 1983, p.2) blaming the Holodomor (1932-33) on "diabolical plans of the red Muscovite fascism." http://bit.ly/UV-83
14. Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe, "Celebrating Fascism and War Criminality in Edmonton: The Political Myth and Cult of Stepan Bandera in Multicultural Canada," Kakanien Revisited, 12, Dec. 29, 2010, p.8. http://bit.ly/SCcult
15. Gloria Strathern, Alberta Newspapers, 1880-1982, 1988, p.9. http://bit.ly/Alb-News
16. Per Anders Rudling, "The OUN, the UPA, and the Holocaust: A Study in the Manufacturing of Historical Myths," The Carl Beck Papers, Nov.2011, pp.14-15,25,29-32. http://bit.ly/Rud11
John Paul Himka, "Falsifying WWII History in Ukraine," Kyiy Post, May 8, 2011. http://bit.ly/jph11
Karyn Ball & Per Anders Rudling, "The Underbelly of Canadian Multiculturalism: Holocaust Obfuscation & Envy in Debate about the Cdn. Museum for Human Rights," Holocaust Studies, Vol.20, Iss.3,2014. http://bit.ly/BallRudling
John Paul Himka, "Collaboration and or Resistance: The OUN and UPA during the War," Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Shared Narrative Series, June 27-30, 2011. http://bit.ly/2qanoOv
17. John Paul Himka, Brama, Mar. 23, 2005. http://bit.ly/jph05
John Paul Himka, "Letters to the Editor," Ukrainian Weekly, Mar.6, 2005. http://bit.ly/Himka05
Michael Slotznick and Leonard Grossman, "AJC board members comment on columns," Ukrainian Weekly, Sep.21, 1997. http://bit.ly/AJC97
18. David Marples and Chrystia Freeland, "Memory of Ukraine’s famine emerges from official historic amnesia," Ukrainian Weekly, Aug. 28, 1988, pp.2, 13. http://bit.ly/SSad-Freeland
Their article derided Soviet studies of the 1932-33 famine which detailed government flaws but said antiSoviet sabotage also caused deaths. Freeland and Marples dismissed this, calling it "an old canard." While speaking positively about the research of far-right author Robert Conquest, they did not mention that even his account of the Holodomor had reported that 27 million cattle and 63 million sheep were killed "in the resistance of the [Soviet] peasantry." Conquest noted that 48% of cattle, 63% of pigs, and 73% of sheep and goats were killed by antiSoviet saboteurs. This, he said, caused "vast economic disaster" and "the Soviet countryside was thus reduced to ruin." [Harvest of Sorrow, 1986, p.159.]
After serving UK intelligence in WWII, Conquest joined the Information Research Department (IRD) (1948-56), a secret UK military intelligence agency that was spreading rightwing propaganda to journalists and politicians. Conquest and George Orwell worked for IRD when it "was strenuously reaching out to Ukrainian nationalists, many of whom had enthusiastically assisted the Nazi Einsatzgruppen as they went about liquidating Jews and Communists." [Ben Norton, "Hard Awakenings: George Orwell was a reactionary snitch who made a blacklist of leftists for the British government," Dec.14, 2016. http://bit.ly/2Se9onz]. The Einsatzgruppen of "Nazi SS,... German police [and] military units, and locally recruited collaborators killed more than 2 million Jews." [Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://bit.ly/Einsatz]
An avid promoter of the Vietnam War, Conquest’s 1967 letters expressed pride in saying "fuck the Commies in Vietnam" and "balls to the Viet cong." He crudely said opposition to that war was "hysterical propaganda" and called all peace activists "pompous cunts." [Zachary Leader, Life of Kingsley Amis, 2006, pp.567-568. http://bit.ly/2LfK8pK] Conquest happily cheerleaded the genocidal Vietnam War to kill "commies" and some four million died.
19. Ads for this proNazi book in Ukrainian Weekly, 1988, appeared Jan.12; Apr.24; May 22, 29; Jun.26; Jul.15; Aug.7, 14, 21, 28; Sep.4, 18, 25; Oct.2, 9, 16. http://bit.ly/LandwehrSS
20. Myron Kuropas, "Jews for Yanukovych," Ukrainian Weekly, Oct. 31, 2004.
(Note: AntiNATO/proRussian, Pres. Yanukovych was elected in 2010 but was ousted in 2014 after the violent "Maidan" coup, backed by the US, EU and billionaire George Soros.)
21. Myron Kuropas, "Predictions, dreams, fears," Ukrainian Weekly, Jan. 7, 2001. http://bit.ly/MK-01
22. A search of the Ukrainian Weekly (UW) archive finds 5,700 results from back issues that reference RFE and/or RL. Most of these use the RFE/RL as a source. http://bit.ly/UW-RFERL
23. David Marples and Chrystia Freeland, "Inside Ukrainian SSR politics," Ukrainian Weekly, Aug.5 and 12, 1990. http://bit.ly/MarpFree
24. Report on the USSR, 2, 28, 1990, pp.20-24. http://bit.ly/2qyS5NT
25. David Marples and Chrystia Freeland, "Inside Ukrainian Politics: An Interview with Dmytro Pavlychko," Ukraine: From Chernobyl to Sovereignty, 1992. http://bit.ly/MarpFree2
This RFE/RL book was edited by its longtime employee Roman Solchanyk who later joined the RAND Corporation, a private intelligence agency created by Douglas Aircraft Company that did long-range planning of US nuclear war strategies. RAND’s Pentagon Papers were leaked by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg in 1971.
26. Marples said his CIUS "pay was somewhat lower than the attractive salaries at RFE/RL" that he had previously enjoyed in Germany.
David Marples, "Chernobyl after 30 Years: Personal Memoir," Apr.25, 2016. http://bit.ly/2Dae
"The State Department was familiar with my work at Radio Liberty" in 1986, Marples said, "and gave my name as a source to the media." This "started the barrage of phone calls, interviews and conference invitations."
"Spotlight on Chornobyl scholar, Dr. Marples," Ukrainian Weekly, Apr. 23, 1989, pp. 10, 13. http://bit.ly/2qdc6JU
27. Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe, Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist, 2014, p.453-54. http://bit.ly/GRL-14
28. Since 1984, when Marples began as a "Soviet nationality affairs" analyst at RL’s Ukrainian Service, Munich, he’s written 100 UW articles. http://bit.ly/UWmarp
29. Marco Levytsky and Stephen Bandera, "Letters," Edmonton Journal, Feb. 9, 2010. http://bit.ly/MarpLevytsky
30. "Russian articles Smear Chomiak," Edmonton Journal, Mar. 14, 2017. http://bit.ly/LevyFree
31. Paula Simons, "‘School of hate’: Was Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather a Nazi collaborator?," Edmonton Journal, Mar. 8, 2017. http://bit.ly/CF-Simons
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