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Russia’s coming attack on Canada

The smear job on Chrystia Freeland is only the start. Why Canada is a logical next target in Moscow’s desperate clandestine war


 

Moscow has been waging an increasingly daring clandestine war against western democracies. Under the direction of President Vladmir Putin, Russia is targeting most of the major members of the western alliance. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of Russian attempts at cyber attacks. In France, Moscow has funded right-wing populist Marine Le Pen and is alleged to be spreading false propaganda about her opponents. There are now reports from British parliamentarians that Russia may have meddled with the Brexit campaign. And, of course, Putin’s interference in the U.S. Presidential election has lit a tire fire in Washington that may bring down the Trump administration, and at the very least has left America’s political institutions reeling, and its alliances weakened.

Moscow is being forced to play these aggressive and risky games out of desperation. The country is in bad shape and it is getting worse. The once great superpower now has an economy smaller than Canada’s and it continues to shrink. Even though they spend 5 per cent of their GDP on defence, Russia’s military forces have grown so rusted out they can barely get their last aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean and back without breaking down. Even the ragtag Ukrainians have fought them to a standstill. Diplomatically, Moscow has never been so isolated and powerless. You can count its friends on one hand, and it’s not an impressive list: Syria, Iran, Belarus.

In a rules-based international system where your influence is measured by the size of your economy, your cultural soft-power, and your stature in multilateralism, Moscow has become an afterthought. And, if Russia didn’t still have a cold war nuclear arsenal, it would garner even less attention. So, losing the international game of chess, Putin is seeking to knock over the board itself—to discredit the multilateral world order, and destabilize the comparably strong western alliance.

Canada is a logical target. We are a G7 member, a strong supporter of NATO (if not a strong contributor), an advocate for a values-based international system, and a vocal critic of Moscow and its interference in other countries. We have to expect Russia will focus more of its clandestine efforts on us, especially as we approach the next election cycle.

LONGREAD: Does Putin mark the return of the czar?

Like elsewhere, Russia has three objectives as it goes after Canada. The first is to undermine any policies or politicians seen to be against Moscow’s interests. For example, the Russian Embassy has already been trying to discredit Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, an outspoken advocate for continued sanctions, with a smear job about her grandparents. Russia also wants to discredit the broader political system, to undermine Canadians’ faith in “the system”, be it our own election process, our system of government, or parliamentary affairs. Finally, it wants to undermine Canada’s support for our allies, and for the international system including NATO and the United Nations.

People walk through Red Square in Moscow on March 7, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People walk through Red Square in Moscow on March 7, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

To achieve these goals, Moscow will likely rely on the same methods it has used relatively successfully in the United States and elsewhere. It will spread disinformation—false stories that create confusion around a controversial and heated issue. For example, during the American election, Russia used bogus social media accounts to spread rumors about Hillary Clinton. We will see similar attacks here, likely directed at the ruling Liberal party. Moscow won’t necessarily prefer a Conservative victory; the Russians will simply want to delegitimize the entire process.

Russia will also continue to hack into the computers of the government and politicians, and even into journalists’ phones, looking for embarrassing details that could be used to hurt a candidate (like John Podesta’s emails were used against Clinton), or as blackmail. And the list of targeted groups may be even longer. There are reports this week that several liberal groups in the U.S. are being extorted by Russian-backed hackers, threatening to leak emails.

Money is another useful tool in the campaign. Across Europe, Moscow has secretly and in some cases openly funded radical populist politicians (like Le Pen) and groups who are fomenting anti-immigrant hysteria. In Canada, there are not many organizations that fit that description. Nonetheless, it would not be surprising if funds found their way to some of the fringe media sites who specialize in Breitbart-style info-tainment.

More alarmingly, Canada can also expect old-fashioned military feints. In Europe, Moscow has increased the number of bomber flights that skirt along and cross into NATO territory. In the Black Sea, fighter jets have been dangerously “buzzing” American naval ships. In Canada, this tactic would take on added significance as we have all but abandoned our northern marches—we have no port in the Arctic, no four-season icebreakers, and almost no military presence. In fact, the Russians would have an easier time reaching some parts of Canada’s northern territory than we would.

It is hard to imagine any of these tactics would actually disrupt our election or cause anything but irritation for Canadians. Our politics are not as tightly wound as in other countries. As a promising sign, the Conservative party refused to play along with Russia’s smear job on Freeland (although some newspapers did). We also have fewer nativist demagogues waiting in the wings, and we have been forewarned by what is unraveling elsewhere. But, would anyone have ever predicted the political chaos in the United States? It is impossible to say if Moscow will be as successful here, but we do know the Russians are already trying, and if they do find the right wedge or the wrong secret, they will use it.


 

Russia’s coming attack on Canada

  1. Russia will use whatever it can to attack democracy in the West. No doubt aided and abetted by Canada’s own Reform Haters who already wish ill on Canada whenever they get the chance.

    • It was “Reform Hater” Stephen Harper who took the toughest stance among G7 leaders against Putin 2 years ago while progressives cringed and worried.

      • Exactly! Harper was the one who took a stand against Putin, even got right in his face and told him to gtfo of the Ukraine. And the left in Canada crapped on him for that, like they did for everything else. Just like in the US how when Romney talked about the threat from Russia, Obama laughed at him and told him “the 80s called, they want their foreign policy back”. And “progressives” all over North America laughed and basked in Barry’s winning smile. Now that the Democrats lost the election, and Justin is floundering, all of a sudden the Cold War is back on.

  2. This article is a joke written by an embellishing attention seeking fool left over from the rémanents of the cold war, trying to say something cute. Russia doesnt have any muscle anymore; they are down to half the population of the US and they aint going anywhere. Their youth want consumer glorification and the last thing they want to do is fight a war with the west….this diatribe of this clown writer is a classic manifestation of the age old bogeyman military industrial security complex, the ghost in the castle revealed as the old butler..nothing more.

    • Out of curiosity, do you believe that Russia tried to interfere in the US presidential election?

    • Germany was also a hollowed out, defeated power in the 30s. Go ahead, invoke Godwyn’s law. You’ll look so smart .

    • Vlad are you still awake ? No we don’t want a Canadian Trump here.

      • You’re right O’Leary will be fine.

    • This article is an utter garbage! Nothing substantial but M.Chomiak is the fact! Check my page for excerpts from his Krakivski Visti and Cholmer Land.

  3. When is the Left Wing Hysteria Going To Subside ? Even Hollywood is getting tired of it and is starting to see it as harmful to fragile American Minds. Is this Article a test of the mental capacity of Canadians ? Even Without this article, I could have told you that it isn’t that promising. The very first comment , is a testament to that. McCarthyism died a long time ago , A world that Includes strong Russian ties, is stronger than one that excludes it . You would have to be a complete MORON not to see that. We know who owns the media companies , we know the way you play with our minds. Main Stream Media is in its death throes and this article only advances that line of reasoning. You Know who we need to fear in Canada ? Our own Politicians bending to the will of the corporate elite and the lying manipulative media owned by them.

    • I would take the Canadian lame stream media over RT any day of the week. In addition I would take Canadian society over Russian society any day of the week. Russia is the most corrupt nation on this earth and it is ruled by a despot. Canada is a great place to live. Please do not forget that.

    • Do your research, Mr Gilmore is a well known conservative commentator on home and international issues. I often disagree with him, but I never disagree that his articles are well researched and well written. Unlike many in the less reputable media, he takes the long view

  4. Just because our Foreign Minister is ‘persona non-grata’ in Russia it doesn’t necessarily follow that we’re going to be attacked. Chrystia makes much of the Ukrainian notion that Putin’s hordes are slavering to come across the ‘fortifications’ of democracy in the Donbass, wipe-out Porko and the gallant Ukrainians and send the ‘red army’ on the tear through Europe it never quite got around to doing in grandad’s day. As if.

    While Russia’s economy may be worse than ours – (which economies aren’t – compared to the American powerhouse?) we, the Russians and most everybody else have more to fear from another Wall Street banking ‘accident’ than we do from any amount of electronic jiggery pokery. The same conditions that caused the last ‘collapse’ still exist, compounded, now, by trillions printed and spent since to prop-up share prices (all time high at the present).

    So, shy of little Ms Freeland’s big mouth really annoying somebody – Vlad Putin has little reason for bothering us. Less even, than Donald Trump, should he find out CSIS helped Obama bug his phones.

    I do hope reading Maclean’s malarkey allows somebody to ease-off on their chinstrap.

    • Thank you Kevin for your sage comments.

  5. When you read history WW2 you would find out that most western Ukrainians were sympathetic to Nazi Germany and many of them fought along German armies against Soviet Union. Freeland grandfather did not end up in prison or concentration camps like millions, Jews, Slaws and Roma did. The question is why he was provided privileged treatment by Nazi Germany and what he was doing for them to deserve that kind of treatment?
    What influence, Freeland grandfather had on her that she hates Russians that could potentially harm Canada relations with Russia in a long run?

    • Angela Markel’s family likely got privileged treatment by the Nazi’s as well. Does that potentially harm Germany’s relations with Russia in the long run? Funny if does because after Vlad Putin invaded Crimea, they sent her in to negotiate. Every country in the EU has ancestors who were Nazi collaborators out of necessity. Likely some are government ministers. The Soviets were Nazi collaborators early on in the war. The two countries split Poland. The real question one should be asking is WHY isn’t Vlad Putin making hay out of any other minister in any other government having an ancestor who was a Nazi collabor in a Nazi occupied area? Why isn’t he going after the French? They were a Nazi occupied country. Surely they have ministers whose ancestors were collaborators. No. He only cares about manipulating the Ukraine. Do you believe Freeland has white suppremist (Nazi) sentiments? Then why would we let Vlad Putin who is believed to have poisoned a former Ukrainian leader and one of his ex-agents with polonium, dictate who we have as our foreign minister? Apparently there was a time Freeland was a journalist in Russia. She also owns property in Ukraine. Maybe it is her expansive knowledge that bothers him. Why else would he bother with this issue which is irrelevant to her as a person and a minister. Of course this is propoganda because it is irrelevant to her as a person and the job she is doing. She is denying her granddad did what he did during the war. She is denying it has anything to do with her job as a minister in the Canadian government 70 years later.

    • If I lived through the Holodomor I would probably tend to have nazi sympathies also. They may be misguided but at the time it may have been considered the lessor of two evils.

      • Suffering at the hands of Soviets is not enough reason to kill Polish Jews.

        • Now you are changing the charges. Freeland’s grandfather was charged with heading up a newspaper in Nazi occupied Poland. The Ottawa citizen says he was not a journalist. It says he never wrote an article. He set type and ran the presses. Now you have him killing Polish Jews. If that were the case, he would be a war criminal and he would have be listed as such. You guys talk about fake news and the like but you use your own fake allegations to advance your agenda without any conscience.

      • There was no Holodomor in W. Ukraine, it wasn’t part of the Soviet Union until after WW2.
        Also the famine was widespread in Russia proper.

  6. Russia is run by a criminals who supported genocide in Syria, Chechnya and in Balkans we don’t want another Hitler destroying the world in next decade, we should act now. Putin is embolden because of Obama’s soft approach and passive policies and had taken full advantage of western open societies. Russia invested billions to run false propaganda on social media with much success both in US and Europe. We should first declare war on false news being spread in our societies by using our own tools like facebook and comments blogs like this one. Use technology to detect the Russian trolls and make the facebook etl.. responsible for what they spread as news.

    • I am sorry to tell you but you are wrong of accusing Russia for “genocides” in Syria, Chechnya and Balkans. All three are fake/false news.
      Russia came to Syria on invitation of Syrian Government and the President Assad, the only foreign country that is legally on Syrian territory.
      Chechnya is one of Russian Federation Republics and radical Islamists started armed insurgency killing many innocent civilians and destroying Chechnya/Russian infrastructure. Please go on Google and see capital city Grozny in 2000 and Grozny in 2016.
      Russia never attacked Balkans. You may be confusing Russia with NATO that bombarded Yugoslavia for 78 days that killed over 2000 innocent civilians and destroyed Serbian and Montenegro infrastructure worth over 25 billions $.
      When you stated: ‘We should first declare war on false news”,- I think you should start first by not spreading false and incorrect information!!

    • Your pretty lies! Ethnic Russians were genocided in mass in Chechnya and the Western Powers supported Chechen terrorists same as U$A supported Bin Laden in Afghanistan!

  7. “,,, we have no port in the Arctic, no four-season icebreakers, and almost no military presence. In fact, the Russians would have an easier time reaching some parts of Canada’s northern territory than we would.”
    —————————————————————————————
    For me, this was the most important item in the article, and needs to be a top priority of our government,

  8. Is this propagandist aware that the nonsense he is spewing has been debunked by every reliable source known to planet Earth.The Ukrainian government was overthrown by US backed thugs( Right Sector ) and insane politicians like John McCain ( who has met with Al Nusra terrorist leaders in Syria trying to overthrow that government).The latest Wiki Leaks CIA release is the final nail in the coffin of the Russia did it BS, and idiots like the writer of this comic fantasy can get a job writing Hollywood blockbuster screen plays.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4293220/CIA-stolen-spying-techniques-Russia.html

    • Great…info provided by Edward Snowden who is a guest of Vlad Putin. I bet he is busily working ….hacking away on behalf of the Russian govt. Surely you don’t believe this technology is limited to the CIA. Snowden has been in Russia for how long and this wikileak came out now and was attributed to him.

      • Don’t you just love people who use the Daily Wail as a reliable news source?

  9. Russia and Putin helped to elect Trump in return for a softer stance towards Russia.
    Putin just hated and feared Hillary Clinton so much, he had to intervene with the US election.
    Evidence is piling up that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the election.
    Many allegations and parts of the dossier are turning out to be true.

  10. How are accurate facts a smear job? The truth shall set you free. John 8:32

    Better for Freeland that the skeletons are out of the closet than in them.

    • Now you have gotten religion? Hahaha. “Skeletons are out of the closet…”

      Goodness, those are lofty sentiments. Given Canada’s history of our appalling treatment of First Nations, Chinese head tax, internment of Japanese Canadians during WWII, I wonder how many of us could stand up to close scrutiny of our ancestors’ activities. Even a few of the famous five believed deeply in Eugenics and their statutes still stand proudly in front of our parliament. I don’t believe you can go after Freeland for something her grand dad did 70 years ago. My guess is that there isn’t a politician in France or Germany, Poland or Austria or the Ukraine that doesn’t have a Nazi sympathizer amongst their ancestors. Funny Vlad Putin is making hay about this but then he has only invaded the Ukraine so far. I am friendly with a Hitler youth. He joined at 14. He spent a couple of years in one of Stalin’s gulags. I don’t think Stalin was known for his hospitality to the Ukrainians. Apparently he stole their food sources and left them to starve. My friend is 90 years old. I don’t hold him responsible and I certainly don’t hold his 28 year old grand daughter responsible. He is very reticent to talk about the war. I am sure Freeland’s granddad was the same way. According to the Ottawa Citizen, he wrote no articles during his time running the paper. He set type and ran the press. I guess we in Canada feel we would be brave and chose a bullet in the head or a few years in a gulag or maybe death at Auschwitz. It is hard to know unless one was there watching their children starve. I do know that the English sent Jewish people back to Germany and the French did as well so they could die in those concentration camps. I believe anybody who came from those countries should not be quick to judge. There was a documentary on Netflix recently that told the horrible truths of what happened including the fact that US and Canada turned away a boat full of Jewish refugees when they were just off of our shores. They returned to Germany and were exterminated. I quite doubt that any of the people who made that decision bragged about it to their children and grand children later but maybe Vlad Putin will let us all know who it was and maybe the Canadian press will print the names of all their living Canadian ancestors. What fun that will be.

  11. I am not an expert on foreign relations etc but it looks to me that Putin is much smarter than the majority of his adversaries, he has a way of proving that USA politicians don’t have a clue and most don’t even know the location of most of the countries they speak about, he also stated that it is a big mistake to think that Russia’s armed forces are out of date and rusting, he used some of the most advanced weapons known to man while helping Assad, the reason he might come after Canada is because the Prime Minister has been making statements that make Trump feel good, don’t confuse his real army with the ragtag army in Crimea or Ukraine and in relation to the few friends he has you forgot to mention China as one of his friends, they will support Putin in a serious crisis, we should be trying to be on good terms with Russia we sure don’t need them as enemies and as far as the second world war many people who came to Canada ie Italians, Croations who are large communites in Canada are relatives and friends and were fighters for the Germans, any close investigation of the past history of these people would surprise us, I am a proud Canadian with many doubts as to whether our Prime Minister can handle future problems with the Russians or for that fact China who has not opened up about the computer hacking that they have done, every new machine, weapon, or any industrial inventions the USA or the West takes credit for already has blueprints on a Chinese diplomats desk long before it is made public , I hope I make sense as I am not a professional politician or executive of any kind, just a regular working guy,

    • The problem is Putin has no friends. He invites you for dinner and then puts Polonium in your soup. He is an egomaniac and a killer. Trump makes all kinds of ridiculous accusations against the press and his political opposition. Putin just kills them. There is no being friendly with a psychopath. They are incapable of any emotions like empathy so one can never trust them to be honest or moral. China will never be foolish enough to be a good friend to anyone. They will always do what is beneficial for them. Those people who are making a big deal out of this Freeland issue are ridiculous. They would wet their pants if they new what the Canadian special forces did during World War II. Luckily our Prime Minister belongs to a group of Nations who are well tested in dealing with Putin. He likely will never have to have any direct contact. God knows he wouldn’t be smart enough not to eat the soup.

    • There’s no problem with Russians but the problem with your delusioned and washed brains!

  12. What a piece of propaganda !!!.
    Russia is going to attack Canada !!!!!
    How naïve people you are ?!.
    Its so easy to manipulate you !!.

    • The term “attack” was not meant literally. It was meant to indicate that Russia means to undermine the confidence of the Canadian people in their foreign minister and their government and guess what? It has happened. Those who are suggesting Freeland’s honesty should really look at what she meant by the spread of Russian misinformation. Russia is trying to suggest she is a Nazi sympathizer. You see Russia has long suggested that the current Ukrainian government is filled with Nazi sympathizers. They are trying to say that Freeland is one and the proof is that her grandfather was one so naturally she takes after him. That is the misinformation. Not that Freeland’s grandfather was a collaborator in an Nazi occupied nation. Everyone who was not a target and lived in a Nazi occupied nation was a collaborator. Even some who didn’t live in Nazi occupied nations were collaborators. The Russians were Nazi collaborators until Hitler attacked Russia but apparently Vlad Putin and many bloggers conveniently forget that. Swiss bankers were Nazi collaborators. They helped steal fortunes from Jewish people. Canadians and Americans became Nazi collaborators when they turned away a boat load of Jews seeking refugee. The world is full of the ancestors of Nazi collaborators so why is Vlad Putin going after the Canadian foreign minister? Could it be because she is a Ukrainian Canadian and she, like Stephen Harper is vocal about his annexing Crimea and invading the Ukraine? Vlad Putin has an agenda. What is it?

  13. Dear Macleans editorial board,

    First of all, you should be transparent vis-à-vis your readers and actually mention that Chrystia Freeland grandfather was indeed a Nazi collaborator. Here is another Canadian source that outlines the details:

    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/chrystia-freelands-granddad-was-indeed-a-nazi-collaborator-so-much-for-russian-disinformation

    It is well known and documented that far right/neo nazi formations have played a key role during the government overthrow as well as the ongoing war with the rebels. Therefore, Chrystia Freeland, coming from a western Ukrainian descent and a family of Nazi collaborators could be very well biased and conflicted in decision making pertaining to Russia-Ukraine conflict.

    It is extremely irresponsible for a media source such as yours to propagate such fear mongering without taking into account all the facts.

    By the way Scott, check your facts please. Your very close to “fake news” on many points.

    Thanks,

    Jamie

    • Vlad Putin believes the new Ukrainian govt. are Nazi’s. He is trying to tie Freeland to her grandfather and make her out to be a Nazi. Is Freeland a Nazi? No. Hence the misinformation. Use your brains.

      • Freeland is not a Nazi. She is a russophobe. Just like her grandfather. On top of that her grandfather was an antisemite and a Nazi collaborator.

        • She is doing nothing different than what Stephen Harper did. In fact he spoke with much more vitriol than Freeland does about Vlad Putin and Russia’s actions in invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea in an election that was anything but fair and legal. This has nothing to do with the Russian people and everything to do with their leader.

      • Freeland is a not a Nazi, but she is a Soros stooge. The American Deep State failed to implant Ignatieff back home, but were successful with the repatriation of one of their own with Freeland.

        • Freeland is an Albertan. She grew up in the Peace River Country. So you don’t like her politics but do you really prefer Vlad Putin’s? Stephen Harper might not have shared Freeland’s politics but he sure was no fan of Putin and his bully boy tactics in the Ukraine. I’ll take her over Stephane Dion. If Vlad doesn’t like her, then we do.

  14. This article is nothing more, but a smear campaign against Russia. The facts are: Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather was indeed a Nazi collaborator, just as Russian media previously reported. Freeland lied and Canadian media copied her lies that it was “Russian misinformation”. She is unsuitable to be a Minister of Foreign Affairs. We need someone who can build bridges, not burn them. Now Scott Gilmore tries to whitewash a liar and spread Russophobia.

    • Wasn’t Russia a Nazi collaborator in splitting Poland until Hitler turned on them and attacked? Exactly how many Nazi collaborators would you estimate there were during World War II? Doesn’t Vlad Putin and his supporters believe the current Ukrainian govt. is made up of Nazi’s? Isn’t he trying to make Freeland out to be a Nazi because she is a Ukrainian Canadian and her granddad was a collaborator in Nazi occupied Poland? How many people in Germany in today’s world are Nazi’s? How many were Nazi’s during World War II? How far fetched is the possibility that Freeland is a Nazi sympathizer? This isn’t any kind of phobia against Russia as a country or its citizens. It is all about Vlad Putin trying to make our foreign minister, who is doing the same thing Stephen Harper did…..speak out against Vlad Putin invading the Ukraine, into a Nazi. If Vlad Putin really cared about Nazi’s, he’d go looking amongst politicians in Germany. He only cares about spreading propoganda about possible Ukrainian Nazi’s because he has an agenda to call attention to sanctions and he wants to call into question the credibility of western politicians. Nice try though. Maybe start discussing the number of people Stalin killed and head on through to stories about Polonium and a certain politician who chooses it as his weapon of choice.

  15. What a pathetic joke of an article.

    “For example, during the American election, Russia used bogus social media accounts to spread rumors about Hillary Clinton. We will see similar attacks here, likely directed at the ruling Liberal party”

    Just that one line is absolute cancer. What proof is there that Russia used ‘bogus social media accounts’ to spread rumors about Hilary Clinton. There needed to be no rumors about her spread; her resume and portfolio spoke for itself.

    ‘Russia will continue to hack into continue to hack into politicians phones and emails’

    Again absolute malarkey. Not is there even a modicum of evidence that this happened, but if it weren’t for the wide-scale corruption of Clinton and the DNC then it wouldn’t be such a problem if it was revealed what Trudeau said to his barber. classic example of blaming the messenger.

  16. Conscript Reporting in, dah! We will be sending you our best soviet bears to stop your beavers from your great defense. Prepare your ocean batteries for mind controlled giant squids. For the motherland!

  17. Not to worry, fellow Canadians:
    If Putin starts up against Canada, Trudeau will challenge him to a boxing match.Putin will become so frightened that he will shit himself.

  18. Dear Scott,
    Are you sure you do not require psychiatric help? Promise that you will not jump from the window shouting: “The Russians are coming!”, the way James Forrestal did on may 22, 1949. Russians did not come then. What if they won’t come now either. Take care of yourself.

    • His article is a garbage. No facts, just sucked out conspiracy theories. He might be as well writing for La Meute.

  19. The once great superpower now has an economy smaller than Canada’s and it continues to shrink. Even though they spend 5 per cent of their GDP on defence, Russia’s military forces have grown so rusted out they can barely get their last aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean and back without breaking down. Even the ragtag Ukrainians have fought them to a standstill. Diplomatically, Moscow has never been so isolated and powerless.

    Rusted out military, WRONG
    Isolated, WRONG
    Ragtag Ukrainians, WRONG

    get your facts straight

  20. I think Canada should answer every act of Russian aggression with public mockery. We’re richer than Russia, better at hockey, safer, healthier and happier – plus we have all the best comedians. We don’t need their oil or gas, and invading Canada is an obvious red line for even the biggest Russophile American president.

    In short, Russia can’t do anything to Canada that we can’t answer. They’re politics are based on machismo and nationalism, perfect topics for an utter skewering by our comedians.

  21. Scott, was this BS ordered from New York Times? If anyone really believes anything this man said, I’m sorry you need to educated yourself. Mr. Gilmore, can you actually prove anything you wrote? Russia is being forced to show its military strength because NATO keeps building up its arsenal along Russia’s borders. If a Canada unfriendly country would put up AAW systems, tanks and ballistic rocket launchers across its border, how would Canada be forced to act? Russia is not in a “bad shape” and it’s not “getting worse”. Things are just fine. They’re actually getting better. Sure the ruble was devalued. Thanks to the sanctions. They hurt regular citizens not Putin and his associates as the West intended or did they?. Russian citizens on budget salaries like teachers, doctors, elderly and disabled have become poorer. Good job! But the salaries went up and Russia’s internal industries have seen an amazing growth as the import substitution is booming. Russian military is “rusted”? By NATO’s and US own admission, Russia new tank T-14 is the best in the world which US hopes to have by 2030 (quote from former Gen. Clarke). The new fighter jet SU-34 is the best in the world. Russian S-400 AAW, you guessed it, is the best in the world. And I’m not even going to go into the nuclear weapons. The Ukrainian army is not fighting the Russian military. Get over that myth. There’s hasn’t been a single proof in the last 3 years since the Donbass war started. If the Russian military would enter Ukraine. The Russian tanks would be standing along the Polish border within 48 hrs. Russian friends? Scott, did you forget: China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Armerina, Azerbaydzhan, most of middle east, half of Latin America and many more. More than half of world’s population is a friend of Russia armed with nuclear weapons to the teeth. Can you say the same about Canada? And after Hollande, Merkel are gone. France and Germany will become Russia’s new friends. Italy will follow. All 3 are holding elections this year. It won’t take long. Expect Russia to be back in G8 this year. Even Georgia is trying to rebuild its diplomatic ties with Russia after they ousted their “great” president and a “fighter” for western democracy Mr. Saakashvili. Your article goes on with more none-sense that I have no will to comment on. In conclusion, Canada is the last country Russia’s concerned about. You can sleep well Scott.

    • You need to use commas not periods. Or at least learn to finish your sentences

  22. MACLEANS, PLEASE DO NOT DELETE POSTS WITH THE TRUTH! IT IS LOOKS LIKE LOW-LEVEL YELLOW PAPER. IDO UNDERSTAND BROKEN RUSSIAN HERE NOT VERY WELCOME. BUT YOU ARE FOR THE FREEDOM OF EVERYTHING, SO EAT IT!.
    Ahh,
    What immigration? Who is coming here from Russia now? Do not mix with Kiev! There are no direct
    flights to Russia from Canada for the last ten years. Well, posters “How to rebate your tourist HST” are gone from all airports, but who cares. How this “down flight” starts? “Hockey diplomacy.” Putin’s friends cannot get visas on time to see final game in Canada and fly here on they own jets, were turned down and sent back to Moscow. Next day all over the world Russians
    embassies and consulates stopped
    issue
    ANY
    URGENT
    Visas to Canadians. New rules (to match existing Canadians)
    15 working days or almost a month!
    Business? Forget about it! Why? Our “smart officials” created this situation and why no one is calling to investigate it. It is the provocation and made up the reason to pleased Ukrainian voters and large communities. There is no Russians here.
    Only kids of runaways from Bolsheviks in 1917. They hate anyone from USSR times.
    Churkin died a few days ago, not one good word about him here. When
    he left Canada and become Russian mission in UN was not many critiques about him in Canada. Why? Simple, You cannot lie too much.
    Just too many Canadians knew him and knew how many good things he implemented in relationships with drunk Yeltsin and Canada.
    The author of this “article” possibly the card reader, or CIA agent: “but we do know the Russians are already trying, and if they do find the right wedge or the wrong secret, they will use it.”
    May we ask who is “WE” and this “WE” knows what Russians will do with the next Snowden?
    1972, I fell in love with Canada and PM Trudo, he was my real flashlight to become the human. His son now cannot do anything to change relationships, so many times broken promises and so many lies. And why? For hockey and real numbers in NATO?
    Bravo, Canada!

  23. We seeming have a great deal less to fear from a “possible” Russian attack on our democracy than from the current attacks already underway and established from followers of Islam.

  24. Seriously, you actually call yourself a “journalist”!

    “Moscow is being forced to play these aggressive and risky games out of desperation” Russia has been under western sanctions for close to three years but the economy has stabilized and have expanded economic ties in the southeast pacific, namely China as well as other countries.

    “Russia’s military forces have grown so rusted they can barely get their last aircraft carrier to the Mediterannean….,” that aircraft carrier you are talking about is called the Admiral Kuzentsov, one of the most advanced in the world.

    Finally, you continue to post the liberal media lies about the war in Ukraine. The Ukraine army is quite advanced other than losing nuclear warheads but could not defeat a rag tag rebel force in the Don Bass region which albeit had some technical and military support from Russia. The reason Ukraine is losing the war is because many of the fighters have deserted and have no appetite to fight the Don Bass rebels. The Ukraine government continues to force conscription onto the populace to launch another offensive. This goes along with the ridiculous notion that Russia is planning to invade the Baltic states , an excuse for NATO to bring forces into these countries and continue to encircle Russia.

    I hope most Canadians realize that Russia is not a threat to Canada at all and wants to expand trade and economic cooperation. The western media continues to paint a different picture including this writer who has no clue about Russia or her politics.

  25. Hmmm…….here’s a question …what do the usa,rex tillerson,the arctic and Russia have in common?

  26. Where did Gilmour get the idea in his head he should/could be a writer? Look back on his “insightful” articles on how Trump was going to lose; that Trump has a fanatical voter base. I believe we’ve all seen countless examples of who the fanatics are; how none on the Right can give a speech in the US without the left literally rioting. Anyway…
    Is JT the Trump whisperer? Why would I read an article with that title? (I did unfortunately though).
    Hate baby boomers…yep , that’s an article steered in the right direction.
    I really believe Scott believes he’s the spokesman of the downtrodden.. and the middle and upper class in Canada gripe too much and should, essentially shut up.
    His Building Markets endeavor seems very commendable. Scott, (I’m writing as if he actually reads our comments; he doesn’t) you seem to have a knack for the Building Markets strategy, why not, instead of being a “writer” and instead of writing a pointless, (pointless used here in the sense of nothing insightful/helpful) cut and paste article on indigenous issues, help them with some sort of similar strategy that you’ve help with the needy in other countries?
    Scott, please stop writing. I was going to say to everyone else to stop commenting on his articles, but the comments are generally more insightful.

  27. “In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of Russian attempts at cyber attacks.”
    Angela was not happy about US cyber attacks either.

  28. “Russia will also continue to hack into the computers of the government and politicians, and even into journalists’ phones, looking for embarrassing details that could be used to hurt a candidate”
    Mr Snowden told the world a different story

  29. “To achieve these goals, Moscow will likely rely on the same methods it has used relatively successfully in the United States and elsewhere. It will spread disinformation”
    That is what this article is – disinformation.

  30. “Canada is a logical target.”
    When you poke a bear with a stick, do not get surprised that bear growls and shows his fangs

  31. I have never read so much none sense and I am amazed that some people actually believe this. The author of the article is steering up anti Russian Propaganda. Does he wish the Cold War back? He writes, the Russian armed Forces are delapidated, but at the same time he warns of a Russian Invasion of Canada.

  32. This shabby Justin Trudeau government is a government of lies like none other we have ever seen. Even the basic biographies of important cabinet ministers, it seems, are fabrications. Monsef never fled from Afghanistan on a camel or whatever it was. She was born in a modern hospital in Iran. Now we find that Freeland’s maternal grandfather didn’t leave Ukraine because he didn’t want to live under an authoritarian regime but to work for a Nazi propaganda newspaper in Poland. When she is confronted with the truth she doesn’t apologize but tries to blame the messenger. We are supposed to worry about Russian destabilization. And Liberal Party bootlicker supports her! What a sick government and what a sick mainstream media!

  33. I think Macleans’ editors and writers should take deep breath and count to ten before they post hysterical articles such as this one. If Canada is really for world peace and understanding , we should stop a bit with Russia baiting. We talk a lot about bullies in schools, but what kind of behaviour do we show our kids? The same. Maybe we should walk the talk of understanding and truthfulness a bit more.

  34. only two hours ago I had a pleasure of watching on CTV an Evan Solomon’s Question Period and there also was a lot of allegations that blamed Putin for trying to discredit Canadian Foreign Minister Christia Freeland … who unfortunately refused to show up in that QP and relate to allegations that her grandfather was a known nazi colaborator during IIWW … and I do believe that Chrystia knows the truth pretty well. As a matter of fact the article about Mrs Freeland family was published in polish top newspaper “Gazeta Warszawska” on Feb.8th, 2017 and based on the archival materials from IIWW of the city of Cracow … and that newspaper never had anything to do with Mr Putin propaganda. I am also shocked how fast a Canadian media is … to spread an idiotic news about Mr Putin … and those who in the article laughed out the state of russian navy … I would like to remind Canadian listeners a story where Canada had to rent a large norwegian transport ship to bring home an underwater ship from middle of Atlantic after buying that precious junk from Britain. I have spent a first half of my life living under communists in Poland … and I was fighting them all the way … and the second part of my life I have spent in Canada … so I know the topic pretty well. I do consider your article an outraging propaganda … because Putin is never going to pose any threat to Canada …

  35. Old soldiers never die — young ones wish they would.
    Along with their cold wars, McCarthyite Red Scares, and Russiaphobia.

    Freeland will ensure, although a bit late to the party, that Canada gets noticed, unlike in Vietnam and Iraq fiascos.

  36. Macleans, this can only be meant as an humour column, eh? Surely there’s no other explanation for such hysterical, loony, rantings to be published.

  37. p.s. How long before such patriotic Canucks call out the threat of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to our nation’s sovereignty?

  38. Russia is stronger than ever, even in Siberia there are troops, Russia will never give up the Crimea, and will never submit to Europe and America. Nobody will ever be able to order Russia. I say it. Russky from western Siberia, where oil and gas are extracted. The Russians Have always been, are and will be the most powerful country in the world.And Ukraine will soon all come under the control of Moscow, this is no doubt already in Ukraine itself, half of the population.

  39. Putin’s propaganda had nothing to do with story about Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Christia Freeland ‘s
    grandfather being a nazi collaborator during IIWW in Poland. The story is absolute true and Mrs Freeland is well aware about it and it was not made by “Putin propaganda ” as you suggested but the story is based on the archive materials from the IIWW of the polish city of Krakow and had been published by a respected polish newspaper “Gazeta Warszawska” … which has nothing to do with Putin’s propaganda. It is a shame that Canadian Foreign Minister hadn’t told the truth to the Liberal leader Justin Trudeau before she was named our Foreign Minister.

  40. Man-o-man, I cannot believe this story. What racquet. McLeans should write a story on trans-gender bathrooms. No one who is not part of fake media or a moron believes any of this nonsense about Russia. Very fake news.

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