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Personalities: Chrystia Freeland

Author: 21.09.2017 | diplomacy, Canada
In today continuation of our rubrics about the famous Ukrainians who have changed the world here and now, we would like to tell about incredibly dynamic Chrystia Freeland. She is journalist, writer and currently known as the successful politician. Having ethnic belonging to Ukraine, she fluently speaks the national language. It is the wonderful example of the following generalization that if a person has a desire, it is not a problem to develop in many scopes.

Having reached the lucky career as the political reporter, after – serious writer, today Freeland is one of the most important members of Canadian government with the portfolio for foreign affairs. Well, let’s begin.

Photo: thе

Chrystia always makes emphasis on Ukrainian variant of her name. She has not agreed to be called ‘Christina’ in Russian manner or ‘Christen’ in Western way. She was born in 1968 in Canadian city Peace River in the province Alberta. Her Ukrainian grandmother and grandfather were representatives of clerisy who migrated to Canada after the Second World War. Nevertheless, they did not forget about their historical motherland, and so did their daughter Galina. This love along with patriotic feelings that was saved through thousands of kilometers made an impact on Chrystia. Since childhood, the girl has studied language and history of its far nation, read Ukrainian authors in original and dreamt to see magnificent Dnipro and legendary Kyiv with its sanctuaries, not to mention amazing Carpathian Mountains.

Maxim Shkinder - Ukrainian designer at McLaren.

In the meantime, young citizen of Canada not only dreamt but also studied a lot, graduated from the college and then from prestigious Harvard University. Simultaneously, she peered into the Oxford demanding many skills from students. Her main specialties there were Slavonic studies, Russian literature and history. That’s why it is not surprising that Chrystia Freeland with her perfect knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian languages was able to go through the huge contest and get the job of special reporter of Financial Times in the perestroika-minded Kyiv at the border of 1980-1990. The first meeting with the motherland of her ancestors inspired her, and she started working hard getting interesting news that referred to Ukrainian politics of the first years of independence. At the same time, Freeland dealt with the investigation of Stalin’s crime, genocides, famines, studying archive materials and moving along the country. The result of her works became invaluable social-political works dedicated to many stains of Ukrainian history. It is interesting that the huge contribution into the development of national memory was made not by local journalists. This honor belongs to the foreigner who put the baseline for post-Soviet journalists with the highest standards of work.


Almost all the 1990s Chrystia Freeland famous in the West as the journalist and editor had been working as the independent reporter of Financial Times, The Washington Post and The Economist. As well, she headed the regional departments of other serious editions. What is interesting is that colleagues of Freeland, both opponents and politicians among whom there were representatives of highest authorities, till now talk about her ultimate professional skills and courage. She was the true stringer who was ready for everything to get information. In the first years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union many reporters from Western countries went to work in the former capitals of socialist republics wishing to spend time in some ‘exotic’ place that used to be close for the foreigners. So as to get portfolio, such journalists came to the countries where life was whirling and changed a lot but did not stay for a long time. Chrystia was an exception. Having worked there almost 20 years, she made others respect her because of her level, readiness to put forward the critical question and desire to look into the situation not pretending that everything happens because of ‘mysterious Slavic soul’. Because of charisma, Chrystia had a lot of friends among such politicians and oligarchs who usually avoided the communication with the press.

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On the basis of the personal connections with Post-Soviet beau monde and insights existing in the top of society, at the beginning of 2000s Freeland started writing books. Mainly, they were social-political ones in the genre nonfiction. In such a way Freeland became not only wirter-celebrity with the multi-million volumes, premises and significant contracts, but also famous person who is invited to read exciting lectures on TED Talks and in the best universities of the planet. By the way, due to her books and their success, Chrystia met her current boss Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. It is said that in the middle of 2000s, being beginning but incredibly prospective politician, he had been standing in the longest queue along with the usual readers in the bookshop so as to get autograph on the book of Freeland. That meeting gave the birth to the capable political union allowing to solve not only Canadian but also global tasks.

Photo: kfund-mediа.com

Today Chrystia Freeland continues developing and she is one of the most effective and bright diplomats in the world. Who knows who she is going to become when we start writing about her again? But there is another important issue. Even being at such level she does not forget about her origination and stands for the interests of not only Canada but also Ukraine. The sharp word, shrewd mind and uncompromising attitude are expressed concerning the favorite country. As Ukrainian politicians tell, Chrystia is not only our ‘international advocate and helper’ she is also strict critics who knows about all the problems of Ukraine clearly. That’s why the professionalism and ability to get the result is estimated most of all. 

Cover photo: tе

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