Echo of Moscow

Echo of Moscow (Russian: Эхо Москвы, romanized: Ekho Moskvy) was a 24/7 commercial Russian radio station based in Moscow. It broadcast in many Russian cities, some of the former Soviet republics (through partnerships with local radio stations), and via the Internet. From 1996 its editor-in-chief was Alexei Venediktov.

Echo of Moscow
Russian: Эхо Москвы
Echo of moscow logo.svg
  • Moscow
Broadcast area
Frequency91.2 MHz
First air date
22 August 1990 (1990-08-22)
Last air date
1 March 2022 (2022-03-01)
Technical information
Licensing authority

On 1 March 2022, it was taken off the air by Roskomnadzor as a result of its coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[2] On 3 March, the Board of Directors voted to close the station down.[3] While the radio programming of Ekho of Moscow ceased to exist, Venediktov and most of the employees began a spin-off YouTube channel, Zhivoi Gvozd' (literally "Live Nail", a pun on the common term "Live Guest"), which follows the late station's format and schedule.[4] In October 2022, Echo resumed online programming from Berlin, Germany[5] via its Echo app.[6]


Studio interior during broadcast, 2007
Mikhail Gorbachev (left) is interviewed by Alexei Venediktov (right) in the station's television studio, 2008

Echo of Moscow gained attention during the events of the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt – it was one of the few news outlets that spoke against the State Committee on the State of Emergency. The committee's decree number 3 on the suspension of Echo's broadcast[7] is now regarded as a prestigious state award by the station's journalists. According to editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov, the special KGB Alpha Group made several attempts to cut the radio's access to the transmitter, but its employees managed to connect the studio directly to the transmitter through the telephone line and continue broadcasting.[8] From the first day of its existence Echo of Moscow adhered to one rule: "All significant points of view about events should be presented".[9] Journalists have been jokingly calling the station "Ear of Moscow".

Most of Echo of Moscow's content consists of news and talk shows focusing on social and political issues, where the station tries to represent different points of view. Alexey Venediktov has been the station's chief editor since 1998. Radio hosts of the station include Victor Shenderovich, Yulia Latynina, Sergey Parkhomenko, Alexander Nevzorov, Yevgenia Albats, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Yevgeny Yasin and Sophie Shevardnadze. As of April 2014 Yulia Latynina is the most popular presenter at the radio station.[10]

In addition to broadcasting, Echo of Moscow runs a website that publishes analytical and factual materials in a variety of fields including international and domestic political affairs, social developments and cultural trends.[citation needed] The articles are written by well-known political analysts, academic researchers, columnists and public figures.[citation needed] Among the website's authors are Dmitrii Bykov, Matvey Ganapolsky, Alexey Navalny, Victor Shenderovich, and a number of others, who have sustained national and international acclaim in their areas of expertise.[citation needed] The Echo of Moscow site is an authoritative source of information, and its publications are regularly cited, relied on and reproduced by major Russian internet publications and other media sources.

As of 2018 Echo of Moscow is majority owned by Gazprom-Media, which holds 66% of its shares.[citation needed] Editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov is the largest minority shareholder, with 18% of shares, and the remaining 16% are held by other minority shareholders.[11]

Approximately 900,000 people in Moscow and 1.8 million in other Russian regions listen to Echo of Moscow daily.[citation needed] According to TNS Global (Moscow, summer 2011), the most common listeners are middle class and upper middle class Russians 40 years and older with a higher education, residing in the city of Moscow. They make up one third of the total listeners of the radio station. The radio's programs can also be streamed online and are available in text, audio and video formats at the station's website. The website itself attracts an average of 700.000 visitors daily.[citation needed]

On 1 November 2014, the station received an official Roskomnadzor warning that a program the station had aired about Ukraine contained "information justifying war crimes".[12] A radio station can be closed down if it receives two Roskomnadzor warnings in one year.[12]

In October 2017, the station was broken into by an assailant who pepper-sprayed a security guard and soon afterwards stabbed Tatyana Felgengauer, one of Echo's main presenters, in the neck. Her injuries were life-threatening, but she was able to make a full recovery thanks to timely medical intervention. The station described the attacker as an Israeli, quoting "informed sources".[13] Forensic medical expertise determined him to have paranoid schizophrenia, and he was sentenced to compulsory medical treatment by the court.[14]

On 1 March 2022, the office of the Prosecutor-General of Russia asked Roskomnadzor to restrict access to Echo of Moscow as well as Dozhd due to their coverage of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, claiming that they were spreading "deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel" as well as "information calling for extremist activity" and "violence".[15] Later that day, Echo of Moscow was taken off the air, the first time since 1991.[2][16] The following morning, according to Venediktov, YouTube blocked the station's channel, its only broadcasting avenue in Europe, because the station is affiliated with Gazprom.[17] On 3 March, Venediktov reported that the YouTube channel was unblocked.[18] On 3 March, the Board of Directors voted to close the station down.[3] The station's radio frequency was subsequently taken over by state-run Radio Sputnik.[19]

Venediktov and most of the employees have started a spin-off YouTube channel, Zhivoi Gvozd', that follows the station's programming and format.[4] In September 2022, a number of former Echo of Moscow employees launched an internet media called "Echo [ru]", headed by Echo of Moscow's former deputy editor-in-chief Maxim Kurnikov [ru].[5][20]

Editorial independenceEdit

On multiple occasions in 2008, editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov was asked about whether Gazprom's majority ownership affects Echo's editorial policy.[citation needed] Venediktov responded that shareholders including Gazprom abide by Echo's charter, which stipulates that the editor-in-chief has the final say, and though he noted that Gazprom and others attempt to influence specific coverage in accordance with their business interests, they have never sought to actively intervene in editorial decisions.[21][22] Venediktov also noted that during his tenure it has become station policy to broadcast Gazprom press statements upon request, and to always request comment from Gazprom prior to airing negative stories about the company.[22]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Miroshnichenko, Yelena (13 October 2021). "Путин о финансируемой Газпромом радиостанции: Каждый второй имеет там иностранный паспорт". Vzglyad (in Russian). Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Венедиктов сообщил, что "Эхо Москвы" отключено от эфира". Interfax. 1 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b Anton Troianovski (3 March 2022). "Echo of Moscow, a liberal Russian radio station, is shut down". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b ""Эхо Москвы" возродилось: теперь это "Живой гвоздь"". 11 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Russia's liberal 'Echo of Moscow' radio returns, from Berlin". Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  6. ^ "Эхо online - Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  7. ^ "Постановление N 3". 26 August 1991. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  8. ^ Александр Жестков (4 October 2015), Алексей Венедиктов о том, как отрубают от эфира. "Главная тема с Александром Жестковым", retrieved 31 July 2018
  9. ^ ""Эху Москвы" исполнилось 25 лет". (in Russian). 22 August 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Топы". Echo of Moscow. 24 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Венедиктов покинул совет директоров "Эха Москвы". Оказалось, что Путин знал о радиостанции больше него". BBC News Русская служба. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Russia's Ekho Moskvy Hit With Official Warning". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 1 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Russia radio presenter stabbed in neck". BBC News. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Напавшего на Фельгенгауэр отправили на принудительное лечение". Радио Свобода (in Russian). Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Russia Blocks 2 Independent Media Sites Over War Coverage". The Moscow Times. 1 March 2022. Archived from the original on 1 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Генпрокуратура потребовала ограничить доступ к "Эху Москвы" и "Дождю"". Interfax. 1 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Венедиктов: YouTube заблокировал "Эхо Москвы" в Европе". (in Russian). 2 March 2022.
  18. ^ "YouTube-канал "Эхо Москвы" снова стал доступен в Европе". Echo of Moscow (in Russian). 3 March 2022.
  19. ^ Times, The Moscow (8 March 2022). "Russia to Broadcast State-Run Sputnik Radio on Banned Liberal Station's Frequency". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  20. ^ "ЭХО" (in Russian). Radio Echo GmbH.
  21. ^ Alexey Venediktov (3 March 2008). Без посредников (Podcast) (in Russian). Echo of Moscow. At time 13:15. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  22. ^ a b Juferova, Yadviga (20 February 2008). Свобода эха. Останется ли после 2 марта Алексей Венедиктов главным редактором "Эха Москвы"? (in Russian). Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Retrieved 9 September 2009.

Further readingEdit

  • Remnick, David (22 September 2008). "Echo in the Dark". The New Yorker. New York City: Condé Nast. Retrieved 14 October 2021.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°45′8″N 37°35′46″E / 55.75222°N 37.59611°E / 55.75222; 37.59611