Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?

Has ordered a purge of documents that “may offend people”

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was not a nice man but, for a time, he was an important one. He was a favourite of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and was head of the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s secret police. He was responsible for the arrests, tortures and executions during his master’s Great Purge of 1936 to 1938.…

Understanding Putin’s long view of an expanded Russia

He expresses a vision that reaches back over 1,000 years, to a Russia that was an empire and proud of it

Understanding Putin’s long view of an expanded RussiaLet’s make a stipulation up front: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is unjustified. There’s no ambiguity on that score. Russia is the bad actor in this situation. Still, it’s always useful to understand the other guy. Understanding doesn’t imply approval and insight is never a bad thing to have. Putin is typically described…

Historian reveals story of Canadian journalist who chronicled Holodomor

Rhea Clyman was the first western journalist to expose the forced famine that killed millions in Ukraine

Historian reveals story of Canadian journalist who chronicled HolodomorShe’s considered the first western journalist to expose the Soviet famine-genocide that killed millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s. But although Rhea Clyman sent numerous accounts of Soviet and Nazi atrocities to North American newspapers as a foreign correspondent, she was soon largely forgotten. That is, until four years ago, when Jars Balan, director…

We need to fight back against Communist China’s bullying

Rogue state is using intimidation tactics against Canadians, including personal threats and attacks on character

We need to fight back against Communist China’s bullyingIf Canadians believe the threat of a communist superpower expired decades ago, they’re wrong. The Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (U.S.S.R.) may be long dead, but the Chinese dragon is alive and well. In 1970, KGB disinformation agent Yuri Bezmenov defected from the U.S.S.R. and became a Canadian citizen with the adopted name Tomas Schuman.…

Stalin, Hitler and the fatal mistakes of Operation Barbarossa

Stalin never lost his penchant for executing his officers. In the catastrophic early days of the German invasion, he shot eight generals

Stalin, Hitler and the fatal mistakes of Operation BarbarossaAdolf Hitler launched the German invasion of the Soviet Union – Operation Barbarossa – in the early hours of June 22, 1941. Initially, it looked like a triumph. The Soviets were caught flatfooted and German troops advanced 480 km into Soviet territory within the first week. It looked like an eastern version of the blitzkrieg…

J.F.K. dug a deep hole in his relationship with Khrushchev

Because of the Bay of Pigs disaster, Khrushchev pegged Kennedy as a pushover

J.F.K. dug a deep hole in his relationship with KhrushchevThings didn’t go well when U.S. President John F. Kennedy met with Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev in June 1961. Or at least they didn’t from Kennedy’s perspective. Speaking to American journalist James Reston after the Vienna summit’s second and final day, Kennedy described it as the “roughest thing in my life.” Khrushchev, he said,…

The Bay of Pigs fiasco upended J.F.K.’s presidential honeymoon

In his first serious foreign policy test in 1961, the new American president flunked badly. He was in way over his head

The Bay of Pigs fiasco upended J.F.K.’s presidential honeymoonThings were going swimmingly for U.S. President John F. Kennedy immediately following his January 1961 inauguration. Despite being elected by a mere whisker, his approval ratings were stratospheric and much of the media was in love with him. It was as if he was a political superman. Then came the fiasco at the Bay of…

Understated George Shultz left a lasting legacy

As Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, he played a key role in bringing about the end of the Cold War

Understated George Shultz left a lasting legacyGeorge Shultz, who died on Feb. 6 at the age of 100, was an important 20th-century figure. He was one of the good guys. An economist by profession, Shultz was born in New York in 1920. He graduated from Princeton in 1942, served in the Marine Corps during the Second World War and subsequently earned…

Chernobyl disaster’s legacy still resonates

New interest in Chernobyl as the result of an HBO miniseries prompts U of A historian to reflect on 1986 nuclear disaster

Chernobyl disaster’s legacy still resonatesIt’s synonymous with nuclear disaster. It’s inspiring new scrutiny from historians. And it’s the subject of an award-winning HBO miniseries. When Chernobyl first made global headlines in April 1986, reporters trying to make sense of the accident looked to a young University of Alberta researcher. “Every single major news outlet was phoning up Edmonton,” said David…

Canada’s first political sex scandal was really a dud

Gerda Munsinger, allegedly a low-level Soviet spy, was sexually involved with at least one, and possibly two, cabinet ministers

Canada’s first political sex scandal was really a dudI’d been in Canada for just a few months when the Munsinger affair broke. In March 1966, John Diefenbaker – the former Progressive Conservative prime minister – was berating Liberal cabinet minister Lucien Cardin in the House of Commons on the subject of government laxity regarding security. Exasperated, Cardin struck back by raising the Munsinger…
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