The BBG is responding to the continuing need for accurate news and information in Ukraine with new Ukrainian and Russian language programming and new distribution partnerships.
To reach ethnic Russian populations in eastern Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America have added more Russian language programs. In April, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service began to produce and air the 30-minute weekly Mi Razom (We Together), in Ukrainian and Russian, in partnership with the satellite television network First Ukraine. And in late May, VOA’s Ukrainian Service launched Studio Washington, a daily, five-minute news package for Russian-speakers or those in eastern Ukraine who prefer to receive their news in Russian.
In July, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service began airing a 15-minute, bi-weekly Russian language program “Donbass Realities” about events in eastern Ukraine on Donbass TV. The popular 20-minute Russian language weekly program “Crimea Realities,” which was created in March, also began airing on the Ukrainian satellite television news channel “24″ this month.
Later this summer, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service will premiere a new weekly program, Schemes with Natalie Sedletska, on Ukrainian state television’s First Channel. The Ukrainian-language program will focus on corruption in government, an issue important to many in Ukraine.
This surge in programming will increase access to accurate news and information in a media environment rife with Russian propaganda. Other efforts to debunk such misinformation, including RFE/RL’s three-language Crimea website “Crimea Realities,” “Lie of the Day” and #UkraineUnspun blogs, and VOA Ukrainian’s Chas Time have been widely popular.
The latest figures show BBG audience reach in Ukraine has doubled in the past year.