Toronto Star reporter avoids kidnapping in Sloviansk by pretending to be French Canadian

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Canadians are naturally not all that popular amongst the pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine at the moment, but when one reporter (Mitch Potter) was on the verge of being kidnapped, using only French seems to have saved him.

Stupéfait, le groupe est devenu hésitant. «Ils ne savaient plus à qui ils avaient affaire. Dans la demi-heure qui a suivi, j'ai prétendu être un Canadien français, je leur disais: «Vous avez des droits, il y a des problèmes, je vous comprends " et mon interprète traduisait.»
Stupefied, the group became hesitante. "They didn't know who they were dealing with anymore. During the following half hour I pretended to be a French Canadian, and told them "You have your rights, there are problems, I understand you", and my interpreter translated."
«Chaque fois que je parle des lois sur le bilinguisme au Canada, les prorusses ukrainiens sont captivés»...
Every time I spoke about the laws on bilingualism in Canada, the pro-Russian Ukrainians were captivated"...

The reporter spoke enough French to be able to pretend to be French Canadian in front of a non-French audience, but admits that he needs to improve.


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