Disinfo: Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is a descendant of Nazi collaborators

Summary

After World War II, many Ukrainians, collaborators with Nazi Germany, found sanctuary in the USA and Canada and their descendants (such as Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland) actively participated in defining these countries' policies towards Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation targeting former Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and painting her as a Nazi sympathiser because of her grandfather’s presumed activities.

Freeland has been a constant target for Russian disinformation. She is banned from travelling to Russia, as part of the tit-for-tat game of escalating sanctions that the Russians played in the wake of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Freeland is obviously singled out for attention as leading voice in the Canadian government concerning Russia’s actions there.

Indeed, tales of Freeland’s grandfather Michael Chomiak have been circulating on pro-Kremlin social media accounts and websites since she joined the office of Foreign Affairs on January 10, 2017.

There is no evidence that Chomiak wrote any of the anti-Jewish diatribes published in the Krakivski Visti newspaper. After the war he told his family he had worked with the anti-Nazi resistance, helping its members get false papers.

Ms Freeland's uncle, John-Paul Himka has studied family history and told the Globe and Mail:

He was the editor of a legal newspaper in Nazi-occupied Poland. He never signed anything in the paper. He never made policy or that kind of thing. It wouldn't be his call.

Read our analysts on this popular propaganda technique entitled: Nazi east, Nazi west, Nazi over the cuckoo's nest.

Read similar cases in our database claiming that Freeland lied about her grandfather's Nazi past; or that Freeland (who is of Ukrainian heritage) is the granddaughter of a Nazi collaborator.

This article contained another claim that the 2014 coup turned Ukraine into a Nazi state.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Canada, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Nazi/Fascist, Anti-Russian
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Belarus and Russia prepare to counteract NATO aggression

Belarus and Russia need to strengthen their military cooperation to counteract Western threats and aggression. The Baltic states, Poland, and other NATO countries are actively increasing their military capabilities and threaten the Union State of Belarus and Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO and Belarus.

NATO is a defensive alliance and does not pose a threat to Russia or Belarus. Its purpose is to protect its member states. For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and here.

2014 referendum of Crimea was completely legal

The referendum (held in Crimea in 2014) was legitimate in its core and in terms of international law. From the point of view of Ukrainian laws, it was completely legal.

Crimea and Sevastopol became dependent on Russia, according to a referendum held in March 2014, which was supported by 96.77% of Crimean voters and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that it voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Crimea is an internationally recognised part of Ukraine. Іn 1997, by signing the Friendship Agreement with Ukraine, Russia also recognised that Crimea belongs to Ukraine.

Crimea is a part of Russia and the West ignores the 2014 referendum

Crimea became a part of the Russian Federation after a 2014 referendum, the results of which are ignored by the West.

The referendum took place a short time after the violent overthrow of the Ukrainian president in 2014. Over 84 % of voters took part in the vote and more than 96 % voted for the reunification with Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that it voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

The “referendum” was illegal according to both the Ukrainian constitution and international law. Following the “referendum”, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.