- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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):
- Wachenbrunn, East Germany (1000 kW carrier power, MW)
- Bolshakovo (2500 kW carrier power, MW)
- Vilnius (site ceded to Lithuania, operated by Radio Vilnius)
- Saint Petersburg (1961) [16 × 200 kW SW]
- Moscow (5 known high-power SW transmission sites)
- Krasnodar (1967) [8 × 100 kW SW, 8 × 500 kW SW]
- Kamo, Armenia (site ceded to Armenia, but operated by RMOC)
- Samara [6 × 250 kW SW, 3 × 200 kW SW, 7 × 100 kW SW]
- Yekaterinburg [9 × 100 kW SW]
- Tashkent (1000 kW carrier power?)
- Dushanbe (1000 kW carrier power)
- Novosibirsk (1956) [17 × 100 kW SW, but 1000 kW carrier power capable]
- Irkutsk (Angarsk, 1971) [2 × 100 kW, 4 × 250 kW SW, 8 × 500-kW)
- Vladivostok (1000 kW carrier power?)
- Petropavlovsk-Magadan (1000 kW carrier power?)
The transmission network is partially documented here: http://www.tdp.info/rus.html
Also there are DRM transmissions on 6 languages.
As of 2011[update] 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
Estimated total direct programme hours per week of some external radio broadcasters Broadcaster 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1996 VOA, RFE/RL & Radio Martí 497 1,495 1,907 1,901 2,611 1,821 China Radio International 66 687 1,267 1,350 1,515 1,620 BBC World Service 643 589 723 719 796 1,036 Radio Moscow / Voice of Russia 533 1,015 1,908 2,094 1,876 726 Deutsche Welle 0 315 779 804 848 655 Radio Cairo / ERTU 0 301 540 546 605 604 IRIB World Service 12 24 155 175 400 575 All India Radio 116 157 271 389 456 500 NHK World Radio Japan 0 203 259 259 343 468 Radio France Internationale 198 326 200 125 379 459 Radio Netherlands Worldwide 127 178 335 289 323 392 Israel Radio International 0 91 158 210 253 365 Voice of Turkey 40 77 88 199 322 364 Radio Pyongyang / Voice of Korea 0 159 330 597 534 364 Radio Bulgaria 30 117 164 236 320 338 Radio Australia 181 257 350 333 330 307 Radio Tirana 26 63 487 560 451 303 Radio Romania International 30 159 185 198 199 298 Radio Exterior de España 68 202 251 239 403 270 RDP Internacional 46 133 295 214 203 226 Radio Havana Cuba 0 0 320 424 352 203 Rai Italia Radio 170 205 165 169 181 203 Radio Canada International 85 80 98 134 195 175 Radio Polonia 131 232 334 337 292 171 Radio RSA / Channel Africa 0 63 150 183 156 159 Sveriges Radio International 28 114 140 155 167 149 Magyar Rádió 76 120 105 127 102 144 Radio Prague 119 196 202 255 131 131 Voice of Nigeria 0 0 62 170 120 127 Radio Belgrade 80 70 76 72 96 68
Source: International Broadcast Audience Research, June 1996
The list includes about a quarter of the world's external broadcasters whose output is both publicly funded and worldwide. Among those excluded are Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and various international commercial and religious stations.
- 1996 figures as at June; all other years as at December.
- Before 1991, broadcasting for the former USSR.
- Before 1996, broadcasting for the former Czechoslovakia.
- Nigeria's external service is now off air.
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  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.
- Eastern Bloc information dissemination
- Radio Wolga - radio station for Soviet Soldiers in former East Germany, until 1990.
- Voice of Russia World Service website (in Russian)
- Voice of Russia World Service website (in English)
- SWDXER ¨The SWDXER¨ - with general SWL information and radio antenna tips.
- Russia Today TV (in English)
Members of the World Radio Network
Austrian Radio International · Commonwealth Broadcasting Association1 · China Radio International · Deutsche Welle · Earth & Sky · Israel Radio International · KBS World Radio · National Public Radio · Pacifica Radio · Public Broadcasting Service · Radio Australia · Radio Budapest · Radio Canada International · Radio France Internationale · Radio Guangdong · Radio Japan · Radio Netherlands Worldwide · Radio New Zealand International · Polish Radio External Service · Radio Prague · Radio Romania International · Radio Slovakia International · Radio Sweden · RTÉ · swissinfo · United Nations Radio · Vatican Radio · Voice of Russia · YLE Radio1 The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association has dozens of members within it
Telecommunications (general) History
- Computer networks
- Electrical telegraphy
- Hydraulic telegraphs
- Mass media
- Mobile phones
- Optical telegraphy
- Satellite communications
- Telephone patent controversies
- Undersea telegraph lines
Pioneers Mediums Networks Geographic Telecommunications in Europe Sovereign
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Northern Ireland
States with limited
- Northern Cyprus
- South Ossetia
and other territories
Other entities Telecommunications in North America Sovereign states Dependencies and
Telecommunications in South America Sovereign states Dependencies and
Telecommunications in Oceania Sovereign states Dependencies and
Telecommunications in Africa Sovereign
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Gambia
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
States with limited
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Telecommunications in Asia Sovereign
- Burma (Myanmar)
- People's Republic of China
- East Timor (Timor-Leste)
- North Korea
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
States with limited
- Northern Cyprus
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- South Ossetia
- Christmas Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- Hong Kong
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