Instead, she spent her time traversing Ukraine, purporting to visit far-flung family members, but in fact working as a fixer for visiting journalists from Canada, Britain and the United States, for example taking a BBC film crew to Lviv to meet leaders in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Countless “tendentious” news stories about life in the Soviet Union, especially for its non-Russian citizens, had her fingerprints as Ms. Freeland set about making a name for herself in journalistic circles with an eye to her future career prospects.
Col. Stroi certainly objected to what Ms. Freeland was doing in Ukraine, but the KGB officer could not help but be impressed. She was “a remarkable individual” with “an analytical mindset.” The young Canadian was “erudite, sociable, persistent, and inventive in achieving her goals,” nefarious as they may have been in the eyes of Soviet intelligence.
The student causing so many headaches clearly loathed the Soviet Union, but she knew its laws inside and out – and how to use them to her advantage. She skillfully hid her actions, avoided surveillance (and shared that knowledge with her Ukrainian contacts), and expertly trafficked in “misinformation.” The conclusion is inescapable: Chrystia Freeland, this KGB officer was saying, would have made an excellent spy herself.
I doubt Vladimir Putin will like Ms. Freeland more when she becomes Prime Minister of Canada.