Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Chrystia Freeland’s Granddad was Indeed a Nazi Collaborator… So Much for Russian Disinformation


The news conference on Monday by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was interesting not for the announcement that Canada was extending its training mission to the Ukraine but for the questions and answers about the minister’s grandfather. There have been a number of articles circulating about Freeland’s Ukrainian grandfather Michael Chomiak and his ties to the Nazis. Some of those articles have appeared on pro-Russian websites. Freeland, who strongly supports the Ukraine and is a major critic of Russia’s seizure of the Crimea, suggested to journalists that the articles about her grandfather were part of a Russian disinformation campaign (The Russian government sees Freeland as virulently anti-Russian and placed her on their travel ban). Freeland told reporters after they raised questions about the articles about her grandfather:

American officials have publicly said, and even Angela Merkel has publicly said, that there were efforts on the Russian side to destabilise Western democracies, and I think it shouldn’t come as a surprise if these same efforts were used against Canada.

The Globe and Mail also reported that an official in Freeland’s office denied the minister’s grandfather was a Nazi collaborator. In addition, those in the Canadian-Ukrainian community dismissed the claims were outright. Paul Grod, president of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress told the Globe and Mail:

It’s the continued Russian modus operandi that they have. Fake news, disinformation, and targeting different individuals. It’s just so outlandish when you hear some of these allegations… whether they are directed at Minister Freeland or others.

Well, it actually isn’t so outlandish. Michael Chomiak WAS a Nazi collaborator. What are the sources for the information that Freeland’s grandfather worked for the Nazis? For starters, The Ukraine Archival Records held by the Province of Alberta. It has a whole file on Chomiak, including his own details about his days editing the newspaper Krakivski Visti. Chomiak noted he edited the paper first in Kraków in Poland and then in Vienna. The reason he edited the paper in Vienna was because he had to flee with his Nazi colleagues as the Russians advanced into Poland (the Russians tended to execute collaborators well as SS members).

So what was the Krakivski Visti? The Nazis seized it, like a number of other publications, from their Jewish owners and then operated them as propaganda outlets. Here is what the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum has to say about Krakivski Visti and a similar newspaper, Lvivski Visti, both publications associated with the Nazi régime:

The editorial boards carried out a policy of soliciting Ukrainian support for the German cause. It was typical, within these publications, to not to give any accounts of the German genocidal policy, and largely, the editions resorted to silencing the mass killing of Jews in Galicia. Ukrainian newspapers presented the Jewish Question in light of the official Nazi propaganda, corollary to the Jewish world conspiracy. In 1943 and 1944, both Lvivski Visti and Krakivski Visti hailed the German-approved formation of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galichina, composed of Ukrainian volunteers.

So much for Russian disinformation. On Wednesday the Globe and Mail reported:

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland knew for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper.

8 March 2017

David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen



The Galician Uniates are the diehard nationalists in the Ukraine. Firstly, the fact that they were under Habsburg and Polish rule cut them off for centuries from their fellows in Malorossiya. Secondly, the semi-Polish creole spoken in Galicia isn’t common… most “Ukrainians” speak Russian or Surzhik (a dialect more biased towards Russian than “Ukrainian”). Thirdly, Galicia is the Dogpatch of the Ukraine… it’s the poorest and most backwards region (the abject poverty of the region is what led so many to emigrate). It has NOTHING in common with Cossacks, yet Uniates prance about in Cossack costume… there’s only one problem… ALL Cossacks are anti-Uniate to the bone. If the Cossacks caught Poles or Muslims… they’d let them live and go home. If they caught Uniates, they killed them on the spot as traitors to Holy Rus and its faith.

The notional Ukraine is sinking and all of Freeland’s soldiers and all of Freeland’s money won’t put Humpty back together again.

Here’s another interesting take on l’Affaire Freeland from the Jewish POV



Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ontario to Test Universal Basic Income This Year

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. There are Two Canadas. 2012


The Liberal Party rolled out a universal basic income (UBI) scheme to combat poverty in three cities in the Canadian province of Ontario. A discussion paper drafted by former Canadian Senator Hugh Segal laid out what it’d look like, and recommended testing it a rural area populated by indigenous people:

There’s no reason why a coherent pilot project testing the net benefits of a Basic Income to society in general, and to those living in poverty in particular, couldn’t be launched before the end of the present fiscal year in Ontario. Testing a Basic Income is a humane and useful way to measure how so many of the costs of poverty (in terms of productivity, health, policing, and other community costs, to name only a few) might be diminished, while poverty itself is reduced and work is encouraged.

Once instituted, the UBI would almost double the annual basic income adults receive under the province’s current welfare programme. In Ontario, 1.7 million people live below the poverty line, which is 20,676 CAD (908,000 Roubles. 108,000 Renminbi. 1.05 million INR. 15,700 USD. 20,450 AUD. 14,950 Euros. 12,600 UK Pounds) annually for a single person. Many lost their jobs in 2000-07 when manufacturing and auto jobs disappeared. Social planner Ben Earle, with the Durham Workforce Authority, said:

My area lost up to 4,000 jobs in the last fifteen years, and the prospects of them coming back are doubtful. People left behind are forced into positions that are lower paying, contract-based, [and have] lower benefits… if they have benefits at all.

Economists believe that this new policy can help drive change from jobs in manufacturing to areas including finance technology, medical research, and other “knowledge-based” jobs. Chris Ballard, who heads the initiative, remarked:

It’s time [we] start considering some kind of basic income because of the changing nature of work due to automation.

Some critics believe that officials are using UBI to avoid dealing with other pricey measures that could affect poverty, like raising the minimum wage, whilst others claim that they’d have to cut other social programmes to foot the bill of the initiative. In a 2016 interview with The Guardian Segal defended the proposal:

This isn’t something that is in any way, in my view, the precinct of the left. In fact, it’s the precinct of rational people when looking to encourage work and community engagement and give people a floor beneath which they’re not allowed to fall.

22 February 2017

Sputnik International



“Conservatives” oppose this. Not on any coherent grounds… their gazillionaire paymasters oppose it. They might have ONLY 50 million instead of 100 million! POOR BABIES. All “conservatives” are either dupes or mercenaries. They oppose UBI because it’d decrease the discretionary spending of their rich masters… nothing more, nothing less. Keep that in mind when you hear the rants of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Rod Dreher. They’re whores… paid handsomely for their prostitution. They all have incomes ABOVE the average. You see it, of course. If we have UBI… then, these media whores would get less (but still above the average). If you needed proof that greed and pride, not abortion or homosexuality, were the capital sins, this is that.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

New Prime Trudeau to Pull Out Jets… Gives Bird to USA

00 justin trudeau canada PM 211015


Mere hours after defeating Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister-designate Justin Pierre James Trudeau told US President Barack Obama that he’d withdraw all Canadian jets from Syria and Iraq. According to Reuters, Trudeau told Obama as the latter called to congratulate Trudeau on his election win. The Liberal leader ran on a promise to withdraw Canadian CF-18 aircraft from the US-led coalition’s military campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group. Earlier this year, the Liberals opposed the Conservative government’s proposal to extend combat missions from Iraq into Syria. On the campaign trail, Trudeau also floated the idea that his administration may consider bolstering local forces in the region, and increasing Canada’s humanitarian aid. Earlier on Tuesday, the US State Department addressed questions as to whether it concerned them that Canada’s new government mightn’t support US foreign policy regarding IS presence in Afghanistan. State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters:

These are all decisions the Canadian people have to make, Canadian legislators have to make, and their Prime Minister [has to make]. We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with Canadian armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

21 October 2015

Sputnik International


Canada Awoke from a Long (and Real) Nightmare…

00 canadian federal election 2015. 201015

The above map is based on census units, not ridings… it shows the largest vote-getter in a particular area. Canada has a “first-past-the-post” system, so, a candidate with a minority of the vote can win, so long as they’re ahead of all others.


First off, I want to say that you’re all amazing. I’m scrolling through my feed this morning and everything I see is intelligent thoughtful commentary on the outfall of last night’s election. We seem to be collectively experiencing such a mix of thoughts and emotions, from the tremendous relief of waking up in a country no longer governed by a corrupt heartless tyrant, to sadness about the seeming loss of ground on the left. We’re overwhelmingly thoughtful and anxious about the new government and especially its leader, Justin Trudeau.

I have to say, I didn’t give the Liberals a lot of thought this election. In fact, my riding didn’t even have a Liberal candidate after she withdrew last week, though she managed to take a chunk of votes anyway since Elections Canada wasn’t able to remove her from the ballot. My vote was NDP from the beginning and it never wavered, so I spent very little energy looking into the platforms of the other parties. Now, I want to know. Who is Justin Trudeau? What kind of person is he? What kind of leader is he? How will he steer the course of this country for the next 4-5 years? Should I be hopeful or pessimistic about where we’re going?

I’m old enough to remember the Chrétien/Martin years. I harbour no illusions that this is a revolution. In some ways, one can see it as a return to Canadian politics as usual with the ball landing in the Liberal court for their turn again. However, I have to say in all honesty that the only moment during this campaign where a party leader made me feel anything deeply was during his closing remarks in the first debate. He spoke about the heart of Canada and Canadians, about hope and optimism, and I felt him. He meant it.

I think he’s a good person. I think he has heart and he cares about this country and its diverse people. I think if he was sitting at my dinner table, we’d agree on more things than we’d disagree on. He may not be as far “left” as I’d like in that he still believes in capitalist economics, but from where I sit, he’s about as good as we’re ever going to get in a Prime Minister. I like him better than Mulcair, who I never could warm up to anyway, and I can’t say after looking into it further that I think his policies or platform are in general less left than the NDP, at least under Mulcair. He’s promised to withdraw Canadian soldiers from armed conflict, to restore environmental protections and increase them, to reform the electoral system, to restore funding to the CBC and Canada post, and to rebuild relationships with Canada’s First Nations. Therefore, I think we did good last night, and I think we still have lots of work to do.

Nevertheless, for now, I’m honestly overwhelmed with tears of relief. I feel like we just won the fucking lottery and cured cancer at the same time, as ridiculous as that is. I feel irrationally overwhelmingly grateful for this man who has stepped up to take back our country from Harper. If he enacts even a fraction of the platform promises he made, Canada’s going to be a profoundly better place than it was yesterday. If he does nothing at all but prevent further damage, Canada’s still going to be a better place. Moreover, I trust that he’d do something more than that. He has a young family and a wife who reminds me a lot of myself. He has promises to keep and I get the sense he’s the kind of person who’d do his best to keep them. At least, I hope he will.

To quote Jack Layton:

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

I think we changed the world for the better yesterday. Thanks everyone.

20 October 2015


Occupy Calgary


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