"This is an aggressive act that uses the outrageous pretext of extremism to censor RFE/RL and prevent audiences in Russia and Crimea from learning the truth about the annexation," RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said in a statement on May 12. "We condemn it as an attack on RFE/RL's operations and the public's fundamental right to freely access information," he added.

Ramp up of USIM programs to Russia and environs

Since the fall of the Yanukovych government and ensuing Russian aggression in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, VOA and RFE/RL have added or expanded more than 25 new radio, television and digital programs in Russian, Ukrainian, and other languages engaging audiences in the former Soviet space. Several highlights include: