It’s no small feat for John Stuart Durrant, a Canadian living in St. John’s, to be declared a friend of Russia by none other than President Vladimir Putin. After all, Canada’s foreign minister, a staunch ally of Ukraine, is banned from visiting Canada’s erstwhile Cold War foe. But Durrant is no Chrystia Freeland. As honorary consul to Russia, the academic has, for more than a decade, helped any Russian citizen who encounters trouble in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Durrant’s recent achievement of state-sanctioned kinship with Russia, in the form of the Order of Friendship Medal, caps decades of devotion to Canada’s northern …read more