Radio Moscow (Russian: Pадио Москва, tr. Radio Moskva), also known as Radio Moscow World Service, was the official international broadcasting station of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics until 1993. It was reorganized with a new name: Voice of Russia., which has also since been reorganized and renamed Radio Sputnik. At its peak, Radio Moscow broadcast in over 70 languages using transmitters in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Cuba.
|29 October 1929|
|Replaced by||Voice of Russia|
Radio Moscow's first foreign language was made in German on the 29th of October, 1929; English and French soon followed. Previously, Radio Moscow broadcast in 1922 with a transmitter station RV-1 in the Moscow region, and a second broadcasting centre came on air at Leningrad in 1925. By 1939, Radio Moscow was broadcasting (on mediumwave and shortwave) in English, French, Indonesian, German, Italian and Arabic. 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 yearsEdit
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 into 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.
Changes late 1970s–1980sEdit
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.
Radio Moscow'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 time/frequency schedule as radio frequencies were regarded as state secrets by the Soviet government.[dubious ]
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 Soviet Union. Since 1957, the programme was presented by Joe Adamov, who was known for his command of the English language and his good humour.
Languages of Radio MoscowEdit
By 1931, when Radio Moscow came under the control of the newly established Gosteleradio, the service comprised eight languages: English, French, German, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Swedish.
By the 1970s there were 64 languages:
- English (World Service and regional services), French (to Europe and Africa), Portuguese and Spanish (to Europe and Latin America), Arabic (to North Africa and Near/Middle East)
- 19 languages to Europe: Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Serbo-Croat, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish
- 11 languages to Africa: Amharic, Bambara, Fula, Hausa, Lingala, Malagasy, Ndebele, Shona, Somali, Swahili, Zulu
- 28 languages to Asia: Assamese, Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Dari, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Laotian, Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Pushtu, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telegu, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese
- 1 language to Latin America: Quechua
Radio Peace and ProgressEdit
- Languages offered by both Radio Peace and Progress (RPP) and Radio Moscow: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Mongolian, Portuguese, Spanish.
- Languages covered by RPP, but not by Radio Moscow: Azerbaijani, Creole, Guarani, Hebrew, Yiddish.
The union republicsEdit
In 10 of the 14 union republics besides the RSFSR there were foreign broadcasting services.
- Radio Tallinn: Estonian, Finnish, Swedish
- Radio Riga: Latvian, Swedish
- Radio Vilnius: English, Lithuanian
- Radio Minsk: Belarusian, German
- Radio Kiev: English, German, Ukrainian
- Radio Tbilisi: Abkhazian, Georgian
- Radio Yerevan: Arabic, Armenian, English, French, Kurdish, Spanish
- Radio Baku: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Persian, Turkish
- Radio Tashkent: Arabic, Dari, English, Hindi, Persian, Urdu, Uzbek
- Radio Dushanbe: Dari, Persian, Tajik
Russian language servicesEdit
Until 1988 there was no Russian service of Radio Moscow. Instead there were several other services for Russians abroad like the Fifth programme of the All-Union Radio (since 1960), Radio Motherland (Радиостанция Родина) of the Soviet Committee for Cultural Relations with Fellow-Countrymen Abroad or for fishermen Radio Pacific Ocean (Радиостанция Тихий Океан, 1963–2001) from Vladivostok and Radio Atlantic (Радиостанция Атлантика, 1965–2004) from Murmansk.
USSR Shortwave broadcasting innovationsEdit
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.
- "Boris Yeltsin's decree in Russian language" (in Russian). December 22, 1993.
- "Voice of Russia becomes Sputnik". Voice of Russia. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Wood, James (2000). History of International Broadcasting, Volume 2. United Kingdom: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-85296-920-1.
- Tiede, Tom (April 7, 1981). "Radio Moscow comes in loud and clear from Cuba". Sarasota Journal. 29 (249). Jacksonville, Florida. p. 8.
- СССР в мировом информационном пространстве (1917-1945 гг.), p. 73, at Google Books (1995)