Voice of Russia


Voice of Russia
Russian State Radio Company Voice of Russia
Type Radio network
Country  Russia
Availability International
Owner All-Russia State Television and Radio Company
Key people Andrey Bystritskiy (Chairman); Vladimir Zhamkin (Editor-in-Chief, World Service in English)
Launch date 29 October 1929
Former names Radio Moscow
Official website ruvr.ru

Voice of Russia (Russian: Голос России) is the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service owned by the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company. Its predecessor Radio Moscow was the official international broadcasting station of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Contents

Early years

A Radio Moscow pennant from the late 1980s
Stamp of 1979

Radio Moscow began broadcasting in 1922 with a transmitter station RV-1 in the Moscow region. In 1925 a second broadcasting centre came on air at Leningrad. Radio Moscow was broadcasting (on mediumwave and shortwave) in English, French, German, Italian and Arabic by 1939. Radio Moscow did express concern over the rise of German dictator Adolf Hitler during the 1930s, and its Italian mediumwave service specifically was jammed by an order of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini during the late 1930s.

The Cold War years

The U.S. was first targeted by Radio Moscow during the early 1950s, with transmitters in the Moscow region. Later Western North America was targeted by the newly constructed Vladivostok and Magadan relay stations. The first broadcasts to Africa went on the air in the late 1950s in English and French.

In 1961 Radio Moscow for the first time spoke in three African languages: Amharic, Swahili and Hausa. Over time, listeners in Africa got a chance to tune in to Radio Moscow in another eight African languages.

The first centralized news bulletin went on the air in August 1963 and reached out to listeners all over the world. In the years of the Cold War most news reports and commentaries focused on the relations between the United States and Soviet Union.

A sample of a Radio Moscow mediumwave broadcast from the 1980s.

In the 1970s the cream of Radio Moscow's commentator teams united in a radio journal, called "News and Views". Taking part in the ambitious project were Viktor Glazunov, Leonid Rassadin, Yuri Shalygin, Alexander Kushnir, Yuri Solton and Vladislav Chernukha. Over the years the journal grew into a major information and analytical program of the Radio Moscow foreign service.

Changes 1980s–1991

In the late 1970s its English language service was renamed Radio Moscow World Service. The project was launched and supervised by a long-time Radio Moscow journalist and manager Alexander Evstafiev. Later a North American service, African service and even a "UK & Ireland" service (all in English) operated for a few hours per day alongside the regular (24 Hour) English World Service as well as services in other languages, the "Radio Peace and Progress" service and a small number of programmes from some of the USSR republics.

Broadcasting Soviet information was Radio Moscow's primary function. All programmes (except for short newsbreaks) had to be cleared by a "Programming Directorate", a form of censorship that was only removed in 1991.

At its peak, Radio Moscow broadcast in over 70 languages using transmitters in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Cuba.

Radio Moscow's interval signal was 'My Country's Vast' (Russian: Широка страна моя родная), played on chimes. This has been changed to Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky in 1991. A move has been made in an attempt to drift away from the image of the communist propaganda media.

One of the most popular programmes on air in the 1980s, due to its informal presentation that contrasted with most other shows, was the 'Listeners’ Request Club' hosted by prominent radio presenter Vasily Strelnikov. Another popular feature which began on Radio Moscow was Moscow Mailbag, which answered listeners' questions in English about the former Soviet Union and later about Russia. For almost five decades, between 1957 and 2005, the programme was presented by Joe Adamov, who was known for his command of the English language and his good humour. Radio Moscow continued to broadcast until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and was renamed the World Service of the Voice of Russia.

Transmission network

The Voice of Russia continues to broadcast to most of the world on shortwave and mediumwave, satellite, via the World Radio Network and via the Internet. Interestingly, broadcasts with strong signals targeted at Europe continue. Many major international broadcasters no longer target shortwave broadcasts at Europe, including the Cold War rivals of Radio Moscow: the Voice of America and BBC World Service (China Radio International continues, and has expanded, short wave broadcasts to Europe).

Radio Moscow's and Voice of Russia's shortwave (SW) transmission network has never been equalled in its transmission power, directivity and reach. During the station's peak in the 1980s the same programmes could often be heard on anything up to forty frequencies on the (heavily overcrowded) shortwave bands although the station never published its complete or accurate time/frequency schedule. Shortwave hobbyists generally assumed the programming staff did not actually know what frequencies were being used[dubious ].

The transmission network consisted of at least 30 high-power transmission sites (West to East, with first transmission dates):

The transmission network is partially documented here: http://www.tdp.info/rus.html

Also there are DRM transmissions on 6 languages.

Broadcast languages

As of 2011 the Voice of Russia broadcasts in 39 languages, including:

VOR output compared to other broadcasters

For a comparison of VOR (RM) to other broadcasters see

In 1996, the USA's international radio consisted of 992 hours per week by VOA, 667 hpw by RFE/RL, and 162 hpw by Radio Marti.

USSR Shortwave broadcasting milestones and innovations

The USSR pioneered the use of HRS 8/8/1 antennas (horizontal dipole curtain, eight columns, eight rows, with electrically steerable pattern) for highly targeted shortwave broadcasting long before HRS 12/6/1 technology became available in the west. HRS 8/8/1 curtain arrays create a 10-degree beam of shortwave energy, and can provide a highly audible signal to a target area some 7,000 km away.

The full extent of Russia's shortwave antenna directivity research is unknown, although it is understood that some ionospheric heating experiments were carried out at the Kamo and Dushanbe relay stations in the late 1980s to 1990.

HRS 6/4/1 and HRS 12/6/1 curtain arrays are sold by an U.S. company TCI [1] in California. Marconi (UK) sold two HRS 6/4/1 antennas to Voice of America-BBG before terminating all sales and service for its longwave/mediumwave and shortwave products in the late 1990s.

The full list of available shortwave relay stations is only known by the Russian Ministry of Communications. These transmission facilities can be rented by contractual agreement. The Voice of America, Deutsche Welle and other international broadcasters have leased facilities in the past and currently possess lease agreements with Russia's MOC.

All shortwave relay station facilities in Russia and the former USSR are owned and operated by the Russian Ministry of Communications, with a few exceptions where the facilities were ceded to national governments.

See also

References

External links


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