Blog Archive

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Radio plays key role in Ukraine invasion

Shortwave broadcasting is making a strong comeback in Eastern Europe this month, but the reason is nothing to celebrate. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has tossed the free flow of information into chaos, especially in Russia itself, where government leaders are censoring reports that casts them in a negative light.

Russian fighter jet.
Photo courtesy of Paul Brennan,
public domain.

For some of us of a certain age, this is reminiscent of the "Iron Curtain," the long-standing policy of the old Soviet Union to control information and isolate its people from western influence. This Cold War policy gave birth to targeted news programming by the west, such as Radio Free Europe, established in 1950, as well as the Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Since the Ukraine invasion began last month, Russian bombers have been targeting communication sites, in an attempt to destroy the county's television, radio and internet. The Ukrainian government has imposed martial law and ordered ham radio operators off the air, to avoid detection by Russian direction-finding equipment.

Meanwhile, the Russian government is taking issue with the BBC's coverage of the invasion and has blocked the British internet stream ordinarily heard in Russia. As a result, BBC has removed reporters from the country and stepped up shortwave programming to Eastern Europe. BBC is using a daytime frequency of 15735 KHz and night frequency of 5875 KHz.

Here is a segment of BBC's top-of-the-hour newscast, as received in Slovenia on March 5th, 2022. In it, reporters clearly state the situation is bad and getting worse. At the same time, Ukrainian hackers have been jamming Russian military frequencies, to disrupt war planning and logistics, as shown in this brief YouTube video

My sincere thanks for use of the KiwiSDR receiver network in preparing this post, and particularly the S57BIT receiver in Slovena.

No comments:

Post a Comment