Most people would rubbish the idea that the former Soviet Union would want anything to do with Canada. But, is that really the reality? In recent years Russia, under the leadership of Putin has been waging a daring clandestine war against democracies around the world. Germany, where there have been Russian cyber attacks, France, where Moscow is alleged to be spreading false propaganda on the Right wing conservatives, and Russia has been reported to have meddled with the recent Brexit campaign. Russia hasn’t stopped there either. There have also been reports of Russia’s involvement in the recent US presidential elections. But, that doesn’t mean Russia would target Canada you say?
Well, the Russians have already started to discredit Chrystia Freeland, who is Canada’s Foreign Minister smearing her ancestory because of her being an outspoken advocate for continued sanctions with Russia. And this could only be the beginning for quite a few reasons. First off, Canada is one of the members of the G7, and is a strong supporter of NATO. Canada is also a vocal critic of Putin and Moscow’s policies of interfering with other countries. These are reasons enough to expect Russia to meddle with Canada’s internal affairs, especially with the next election cycle approaching.
To achieve this, Russia is most likely to rely on tactics it has been using against other Western democracies, and have been quite successful. Some of the ways Moscow could do that is by spreading false information which creates confusion and controversy. It is unlikely that Russia will have a preference when it came to Liberals or Conservatives winning in Canada, since their main objective would be to simply legitimize the electoral process, like it did in the recent US Presidential elections.
We should also expect computer hacking incidents of government websites and the personal emails of Canadian politicians. Russia has also openly funded radical populist movements across Europe, and since no organization within Canada fits that description, it would also not come as a surprise if Russia funded any fringe media sites to spread its propaganda. Russian fighter jets have been flying rather close to American naval ships in recent times, and the smear job of Chrystia Freeland doesn’t look to be a one off thing.