ET: OTTAWA—Canada has learned a lot about how to protect against foreign election meddling through its support of Ukraine in its ongoing battles with Russia, says Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Freeland described Ukraine as a “laboratory” for Russia’s disinformation campaigns in cyberspace as she and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Monday that Canada is extending its military missions in the eastern European country and Iraq—commitments that were both due to expire at the end of the month.
The extensions shore up Canada’s contributions to the effort to curb Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and to the fight against Islamic terrorists in the Middle East.
Ukraine is bracing for Russian interference in its upcoming presidential election on March 31, and Freeland said the threat has implications for Canada’s own federal vote later this year.
“We do need to be concerned about malign actors seeking to interfere in the elections in Ukraine and seeking to interfere in our own elections. That is all the more reason for us to be very active in countering this threat,” she said. “Ukraine tends to be a laboratory for malign intervention and disinformation.”
Canada is committed to helping Ukraine and its neighbours counter the cyberthreats from Moscow, and broader disinformation campaigns, the minister said.
“We help them a lot, but I’ll tell you, we learn a lot from them.”
The mission of about 200 Canadian Forces personnel in Ukraine will be extended to the end of March 2022. more here