Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded organization that broadcasts and reports news, information and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East where it says that "the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed".[4] RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation supervised by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services.[5]

During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFE's headquarters, and the KGB regularly jammed its signals. RFE/RL received funds covertly from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) until 1972.[6] During RFE's earliest years of existence, the CIA and U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation between them and RFE staff.[7]

RFE/RL was headquartered at Englischer Garten in Munich, West Germany, from 1949 to 1995. In 1995 the headquarters were moved to Prague in the Czech Republic. European operations have been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War. In addition to the headquarters, the service maintains 17 local bureaus in countries throughout their broadcast region, as well as a corporate office in Washington, D.C. RFE/RL broadcasts in 25 languages[8] to 23 countries[9] including Armenia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.[9]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
RFERL primary brandmark
RFE/RL official logo
AbbreviationRFE/RL
MottoFree Media in Unfree Societies
Formation1949 (Radio Free Europe), 1953 (Radio Liberty), 1976 (merger)
TypePrivate, non-profit Sec 501(c)3 corporation
PurposeBroadcast Media
HeadquartersPrague Broadcast Center
Location
Official language
English; programs are also available in Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Bosnian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Chechen, Crimean Tatar, Dari, Georgian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Tajik, Tatar, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Uzbek
President
Daisy Sindelar (Acting, since December 7, 2018)[1].
Kenneth Weinstein, Acting Chairman of the U.S. Agency for Global Media,[2] is Chairman of RFE/RL's corporate board (since January 2017)
Parent organization
The United States Government via the U.S. Agency for Global Media
Budget
$123,300,000 (FY 2018)
Staff
676[3]
WebsiteRFERL.org

Early history

Radio Free Europe

Radio Free Europe was created and grew in its early years through the efforts of the National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE), an anti-communist CIA front organization that was formed by Allen Dulles in New York City in 1949. The committee was composed of an "A list" of powerful U.S. citizens including former ambassador and first NCFE chairman Joseph Grew; Reader's Digest owner DeWitt Wallace; former diplomat and the co-founder of Public Opinion Quarterly Dewitt Clinton Poole; and prominent New York investment banker Frank Altschul.[10][11]

Radio Free Europe received widespread public support from Eisenhower's "Crusade for Freedom" campaign.[12] In 1950, over 16 million Americans signed Eisenhower's "Freedom Scrolls" on a publicity trip to over 20 U.S. cities and contributed $1,317,000 to the expansion of RFE.[13]

The NCFE's mission was to support the refugees and provide them with a useful outlet for their opinions and creativity while increasing exposure to the modern world.[14] The NCFE divided its program into three parts: exile relations, radio, and American contacts.[10] Although exile relations were initially its first priority, Radio Free Europe (RFE) became the NCFE's greatest legacy.

The United States funded a long list of projects to counter the Communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe and the developing world.[15] RFE was developed out of a belief that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than military means.[16] American policymakers such as George Kennan and John Foster Dulles acknowledged that the Cold War was essentially a war of ideas. The implementation of surrogate radio stations was a key part of the greater psychological war effort.[13]

RFE was modeled after Radio in the American Sector (RIAS) a U.S. government-sponsored radio service initially intended for Germans living in the American sector of Berlin (but more widely listened to in East Germany).[17] Staffed almost entirely by Germans with minimal U.S. supervision, the station provided free media to German listeners.

RFE RL building construction
Building of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague-Hagibor, 2008

In January 1950 the NCFE obtained a transmitter base at Lampertheim, West Germany and on July 4 of the same year RFE completed its first broadcast aimed at Czechoslovakia.[18] In late 1950, RFE began to assemble a full-fledged foreign broadcast staff, becoming more than a "mouthpiece for exiles".[19] Teams of journalists were hired for each language service and an elaborate system of intelligence gathering provided up-to-date broadcast material. Most of this material came from a network of well-connected émigrés and interviews with travelers and defectors. RFE did not use paid agents inside the Iron Curtain and based its bureaus in regions popular with exiles.[20] RFE also extensively monitored Communist bloc publications and radio services, creating an impressive body of information that would later serve as a resource for organizations across the world.[21]

In addition to its regular broadcasts, RFE spread broadcasts through a series of operations that distributed leaflets via meteorological balloons; one such operation, Prospero, sent messages to Czechoslovakia.[22] From October 1951 to November 1956, the skies of Central Europe were filled with more than 350,000 balloons carrying over 300 million leaflets, posters, books, and other printed matter.[13] The nature of the leaflets varied, and included messages of support and encouragement to citizens suffering under communist oppression, satirical criticisms of communist regimes and leaders, information about dissident movements and human rights campaigns, and messages expressing the solidarity of the American people with the residents of Eastern European nations. The project served as a publicity tool to solidify RFE's reputation as an unbiased broadcaster.[23]

Radio Liberty

Whereas Radio Free Europe targeted satellite countries, Radio Liberty targeted the Soviet Union.[24] Radio Liberty was formed by American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (Amcomlib) in 1951.[25] Originally named Radio Liberation, the station was renamed in 1959 after a policy statement emphasizing 'liberalization' rather than "liberation".[26]

Radio Liberty began broadcasting from Lampertheim on March 1, 1953, gaining a substantial audience when it covered the death of Joseph Stalin four days later. In order to better service a greater geographic area, RFE supplemented its shortwave transmissions from Lampertheim with broadcasts from a transmitter base at Glória in 1951.[27] It also had a base at Oberwiesenfeld Airport on the outskirts of Munich,[28] employing several former Nazi agents who had been involved in the Ostministerium under Gerhard von Mende during World War II.[29] In 1955 Radio Liberty began airing programs to Russia's eastern provinces from shortwave transmitters located on Taiwan,[30] while in 1959 Radio Liberty commenced broadcasts from a base at Platja de Pals, Spain.[31]

Radio Liberty expanded its audience by broadcasting programs in numerous non-Russian languages. By March, 1954 Radio Liberty was broadcasting six to seven hours daily in eleven languages.[32] By December 1954, Radio Liberty was broadcasting in 17 languages including Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, Uzbek, Tatar, Bashkir, Armenian, Azeri, Georgian, and other languages of the Caucasus and Central Asia.[26]

Cold War years

Biblis RFE RL 01
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty transmitter site, Biblis, Germany, 2007

Radio Free Europe

RFE played a critical role in Cold War era Eastern Europe. Unlike government censored programs, RFE publicized anti-Soviet protests and nationalist movements. Its audience increased substantially following the failed Berlin riots of 1953 and the highly publicized defection of Józef Światło.[33] Its Hungarian service's coverage of Poland's Poznań riots in 1956 arguably served as an inspiration for the Hungarian revolution.[34]

Hungary

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 RFE broadcasts encouraged rebels to fight and suggested that Western support was imminent.[35] These RFE broadcasts violated Eisenhower's policy which had determined that the United States would not provide military support for the Revolution.[36] In the wake of this scandal a number of changes were implemented at RFE including the establishment of the Broadcast Analysis Division to ensure that broadcasts were accurate and professional while maintaining the journalists' autonomy.[37]

Romania

RFE was seen as a serious threat by Romanian president Nicolae Ceaușescu. From the mid-1970s to his overthrow and execution in December 1989, Ceaușescu waged a vengeful war against the RFE/RL under the program "Ether". Ether operations include physical attacks on other Romanian journalists working for RFE/RL, including the controversial circumstances surrounding the deaths of three directors of RFE/RL's Romanian Service.[38]

1981 RFE/RL Munich bombing

On February 21, 1981, RFE/RL's headquarters in Munich was struck by a massive bomb, causing $2 million in damage.[39] Several employees were injured, but there were no fatalities. Stasi files opened after 1989 indicated that the bombing was carried out by a group under the direction of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (known as "Carlos the Jackal"), and paid for by Nicolae Ceaușescu, president of Romania.[40] However, according to the former head of the KGB Counterintelligence Department K, general Oleg Kalugin, the bombing operation was planned over two years by Department K with the active involvement of a KGB mole inside the radio station, Oleg Tumanov. This revelation directly implicates KGB colonel Oleg Nechiporenko who recruited Tumanov in the early 1960s and was his Moscow curator.[41][42] Nechiporenko has never denied his involvement. In an interview with Radio Liberty in 2003, he justified the bombing on the grounds that RFE/RL was an American propaganda tool against the Soviet Union.[43] Tumanov was exfiltrated back to the USSR in 1986.[44] Nechiporenko contacts with Carlos in the 1970s were confirmed by Nechiporenko himself in an article published by Segodnya in 2000[45] and by an article in Izvestia in 2001.[46]

Chernobyl disaster

For the first two days following the Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, the official Eastern Bloc media did not report any news about the disaster and no full account for another four months. The people of the Soviet Union became frustrated with inconsistent and contradictory reports and 36% of them turned to Western radio to provide accurate and pertinent information.[47] Listenership at RFE/RL "shot up dramatically" as a "great many hours" of broadcast time were devoted to the dissemination of life-saving news and information following the disaster.[48] Broadcasts topics included "precautions for exposure to radioactive fallout" and reporting on the plight of the Estonians who were tasked with providing the clean-up operations in Ukraine.[48]

Poland and Czechoslovakia

Communist governments also sent agents to infiltrate RFE's headquarters. Although some remained on staff for extended periods of time, government authorities discouraged their agents from interfering with broadcast activity, fearing that this could arouse suspicions and detract from their original purpose of gathering information on the radio station's activities. From 1965 to 1971 an agent of the Służba Bezpieczeństwa (Communist Poland's security service) successfully infiltrated the station with an operative, Captain Andrzej Czechowicz. According to former Voice of America Polish service director Ted Lipien, "Czechowicz is perhaps the most well known communist-era Polish spy who was still an active agent while working at RFE in the late 1960s. Technically, he was not a journalist. As a historian by training, he worked in the RFE's media analysis service in Munich. After more than five years, Czechowicz returned to Poland in 1971 and participated in programs aimed at embarrassing Radio Free Europe and the United States government."[49]

Other espionage incidents also included a failed attempt by a Czechoslovak Intelligence Service (StB) agent in 1959 to poison the salt shakers in the organization's cafeteria.[50]

In late 1960, an upheaval in the Czechoslovak service led to a number of dramatic changes in the organization's structure. RFE's New York headquarters could no longer effectively manage their Munich subsidiary, and as a result major management responsibilities were transferred to Munich, making RFE a European-based organization.[51]

Polish Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa and Russian reformer Grigory Yavlinsky would later recall secretly listening to the broadcasts despite the heavy jamming.[52]

Jamming

The Soviet government turned its efforts towards blocking reception of Western programs. To limit access to foreign broadcasts, the Central Committee decreed that factories should remove all components allowing short wave reception from USSR-made radio receivers. However, consumers easily found out that the necessary spare parts were available on the black market while electronics engineers opposing the idea would gladly convert radios back to being able to receive short wave transmissions.[53]

The most aggressive and extensive form of reception obstruction was radio jamming.[54] This was controlled by the KGB, which in turn reported to the Central Committee. Jamming was an expensive and arduous procedure, and its efficacy is still debated. In 1958, the Central Committee mentioned that the sum spent on jamming was greater than the sum spent on domestic and international broadcasting combined.[55] The Central Committee has admitted that circumventing jamming was both possible and practised in the Soviet Union. Due to limited resources, authorities prioritized jamming based on the location, language, time, and theme of Western transmissions.[56] Highly political programs in Russian, broadcast at prime time to urban centers, were perceived as the most dangerous. Seen as less politically threatening, Western music such as jazz was often transmitted unjammed.[57] The intensity of jamming fluctuated over time. During and after the Cuban Missile Crisis in late 1962, jamming was intensified. The Cuban Missile Crisis, however, was followed by a five-year period when the jamming of most foreign broadcasters ceased, only to intensify again with the Prague Spring in 1968. It ceased again in 1973, when Henry Kissinger became the U.S. Secretary of State. The end to jamming came abruptly on November 21, 1988 when Soviet and Eastern European jamming of virtually all foreign broadcasts including RFE/RL services ceased at 21:00 CET.[58]

United States

During the Cold War RFE was often criticized in the United States as not being sufficiently anti-communist. Although its non-governmental status spared it from full scale McCarthyist investigations, several RFE journalists including the director of the Czech service, Ferdinand Peroutka, were accused of being soft on Communism.[59] Fulton Lewis a U.S. radio commentator and fervent anti-communist was one of RFE's sharpest critics throughout the 1950s. His critical broadcasts inspired other journalists to investigate the inner workings of the organization including its connection to the CIA. When its CIA ties were exposed in the 1960s, funding responsibility shifted to Congress.[60]

For more than two decades during the Cold War, the public was bombarded by an enormous publicity campaign to shape American views of Russia and its foreign policy. Advertisements appeared on every TV network, on radio stations across the country and in hundreds of newspapers. The campaign may have been the largest and most consistent source of political advertising in American history.[61]

Funding

RFE/RL received funds from the CIA until 1972.[62] The CIA's relationship with the radio stations began to break down in 1967, when Ramparts magazine published an exposé claiming that the CIA was channeling funds to civilian organizations. Further investigation into the CIA's funding activities revealed its connection to both RFE and RL, sparking significant media outrage.[7]

In 1971 the radio stations came under public spotlight once again when prominent U.S. Senator Clifford Case introduced Senate Bill 18, which would have removed funding for RFE and RL from the CIA's budget, appropriated $30 million to pay for fiscal year 1972 activities, and required the State Department to temporarily oversee the radio stations.[63] This was only a temporary solution, however, as the State Department was reluctant to take on such a significant long-term responsibility.

In May 1972 President Richard Nixon appointed a special commission to deliberate RFE/RL's future.[64] The commission proposed that funding come from the United States Congress and that a new organization, the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB) would simultaneously link the stations and the federal government, and serve as an editorial buffer between them.[65]

Although both radio stations initially received most of their funding from the CIA, RFE maintained a strong sense of autonomy. Under Cord Meyer, the CIA officer in charge of overseeing broadcast services from 1954 to 1971, the CIA took a position of minimal government interference in radio affairs and programming.[66]

The CIA stopped funding Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in 1972.[63] In 1974 they came under the control of an organization called the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB). The BIB was designed to receive appropriations from Congress, give them to radio managements, and oversee the appropriation of funds.[67] In 1976, the two radio stations merged to form Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and added the three Baltic language services to their repertoire.

In a response to United States Department of Justice requesting RT to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Russia's Justice Ministry also labeled RFE/RL and Voice of America as foreign agents in December 2017.[68][69]

1980s and the fall of communism

Funding for RFE/RL increased during the Reagan Administration. President Ronald Reagan, a fervent opponent of Communism, urged the stations to be more critical of the communist regimes. This presented a challenge to RFE/RL's broadcast strategy, which had been very cautious since the controversy over its alleged role in the Hungarian Revolution.[70]

During the Mikhail Gorbachev era in the Soviet Union, RFE/RL worked hand in hand with Glasnost and benefited significantly from the Soviet Union's new openness. Gorbachev stopped the practice of jamming the broadcasts, and dissident politicians and officials could be freely interviewed by RFE/RL for the first time without fearing persecution or imprisonment.[71] By 1990 Radio Liberty had become the most listened-to Western radio station broadcasting to the Soviet Union.[72]

Its coverage of the 1991 August coup enriched sparse domestic coverage of the event and drew in a wide audience from throughout the region.[73] The broadcasts allowed Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin to stay in touch with the Russian people during this turbulent period. Boris Yeltsin later expressed his gratitude through a presidential decree allowing Radio Liberty to open a permanent bureau in Moscow.[74]

RFE/RL also played a significant role in the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which brought an end to the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Following the November 17 demonstrations and brutal crackdown by Czechoslovak riot police, RFE/RL's Czechoslovak service reported that a student, Martin Šmíd, had been killed during the clashes. Although the report later turned out to be false – Šmid was alive and well – the story is credited by many sources with inspiring Czechoslovak citizens to join the subsequent (larger) demonstrations which eventually brought down the communist government.

Upon hearing about the story, RFE/RL did not run it immediately, but attempted to find a second corroborating source for the story, as per official RFE/RL policy. While a second source was never found, RFE/RL eventually decided to run the story of Šmíd's death after it was reported by several major news organizations, including Reuters, the Associated Press, and the Voice of America.[75]

In addition, Pavel Pecháček, the director of RFE/RL's Czechoslovak service at the time, was mistakenly granted a visa to enter the country by the Czechoslovak authorities prior to the demonstrations. He reported live from the demonstrations in Wenceslas Square, and was virtually the only reporter covering the events fully and openly in the Czech language for a Czech audience.[76]

After the fall of communism

In 1995, RFE/RL moved its headquarters from Munich to Prague, to the building of the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly, which had been unoccupied since the 1992 dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The Clinton Administration reduced funding significantly and placed the service under the United States Information Agency's oversight.[66]

RFE/RL ended broadcasts to Hungary in 1993 and stopped broadcasts to Poland in 1997. In the late 1990s RFE/RL launched broadcast to Kosovo in Albanian and to Macedonia in Macedonian. Broadcast to the Czech Republic proceed for three more years under the agreement with Czech Radio. In 2004 RFE/RL stopped broadcasting to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Romania. However, on January 31, 2004, RFE/RL launched broadcasts to the former Yugoslavia in Serbo-Croatian (Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian-Montenegrin).

Vinohradská str, Prague Vinohrady
In 1994–2008, RFE/RL used the former Federal Parliament building of the abolished Czechoslovakia in Prague New Town. For many years past 2001, security concrete barriers reduced the capacity of the most frequented roads in Prague center.

RFE/RL states that its mission is to serve as a surrogate free press in countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. It maintains 20 local bureaus, but governments criticised often attempt to obstruct the station's activities through a range of tactics, including extensive jamming, shutting down local re-broadcasting affiliates, or finding legal excuses to close down offices.[77] In many of these countries, RFE/RL and similar broadcasters provide more reliable domestic news than local sources.

RFE/RL says that its journalists and freelancers often risk their lives to broadcast information, and their safety has always been a major issue, with reporters frequently threatened and persecuted.[78] RFE/RL also faces a number of central security concerns including cyberterrorist attacks[79] and general terrorist threats.[80] After the September 11 attacks, American and Czech authorities agreed to move RFE/RL's Prague headquarters away from the city center in order to make it less vulnerable to terrorist attack.[81] On February 19, 2009, RFE/RL began broadcasting from its modern new headquarters east of the city center.[82]

RFA reporter Helmand
A reporter for RFE/RL's Afghan Service interviews a citizen in Helmand, Afghanistan.

RFE/RL says that it continues to struggle with authoritarian regimes for permission to broadcast freely within their countries. On January 1, 2009, Azerbaijan imposed a ban on all foreign media in the country, including RFE/RL.[83] Kyrgyzstan suspended broadcasts of Radio Azattyk, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz language service, requesting that the government be able to pre-approve its programming. Other states such as Belarus, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan prohibit re-broadcasting to local stations, making programming difficult for average listeners to access.

In 1998, RFE/RL began broadcasting to Iraq.[84] Iraqi president Saddam Hussein ordered Iraqi Intelligence Service, to "violently disrupt the Iraqi broadcasting of Radio Free Europe". IIS planned to attack the headquarters with RPG-7 from a window across the street. Czech Security Information Service (BIS) foiled the plot.[84]

In 2008 Afghan president Hamid Karzai urged his government to provide assistance to a rape victim after listening to her story on Radio Azadi, RFE/RL's Afghan service.[85] According to REF/RL in 2009, Radio Azadi was the most popular radio station in Afghanistan, and Afghan listeners mailed hundreds of hand-written letters to the station each month.[86]

In September 2009 RFE/RL announced that it would begin new Pashto-language broadcasting to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.[87]

The following month RFE/RL introduced a daily, one-hour Russian-language broadcast, broadcasting to the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The program, called Ekho Kavkaza (Echo of the Caucasus), focused on local and international news and current affairs, organized in coordination with RFE/RL's Georgian Service.[88]

On January 15, 2010, RFE/RL began broadcasting to the Pashtun tribal areas of Pakistan in Pashto. The service, known as Radio Mashaal, was created in an attempt to counter the growing number of local Islamic extremist radio stations broadcasting in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. These local stations broadcast pro-Taliban messages as well as fatwas (religious edicts) by radical, pro-Taliban clerics.

Radio Mashaal says that it broadcasts local and international news with in-depth reports on terrorism, politics, women's issues, and health care (with an emphasis on preventive medicine). The station broadcasts roundtable discussions and interviews with tribal leaders and local policymakers, in addition to regular call-in programs.[89]

On October 14, 2014, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and the Voice of America (VOA) launched a new Russian-language TV news program, Current Time, "to provide audiences in countries bordering Russia with a balanced alternative to the disinformation produced by Russian media outlets that is driving instability in the region".[90] Over the next two years, Current Time – led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA – expanded to become a 24/7 digital and TV stream for Russian-speaking audiences worldwide.[91][92]

Around 2017, Voice of America and RFE/RL launched Polygraph.info, and the Russian-language factograph.info, as fact-checking sites.[93][94] On 19 July 2018, RFE/RL announced it will be returning its news services to Romania and Bulgaria by the end of 2018 amid growing concern about a reversal in democratic gains and attacks on the rule of law and the judiciary in the two countries.[95] The Romanian news service re-launched on January 14, 2019[96], and the Bulgarian service re-launched on January 21, 2019.[97]

See also

References

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  91. ^ "Current Time Network Launches Real News, For Real People, In Real Time", 7 February 2017, RFE/RL
  92. ^ Current Time website
  93. ^ "About Polygraph.info". Polygraph.info. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  94. ^ "'We got our f**** a***s beat, Yankees made their point': Russian mercenaries in Syria lament U.S. strikes". Newsweek. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  95. ^ Tomiuc, Eugen (2018-07-19). "RFE/RL To Launch News Services In Romania, Bulgaria". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  96. ^ "Romania Wakes Up To RFE/RL". 14 January 2019, RFE/RL
  97. ^ "RFE/RL Returns To Bulgaria". 21 January 2019, RFE/RL

Further reading

  • Cummings, Richard (2008). "'The Ether War: Hostile Intelligence Activities Directed Against Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and the Émigré Community in Munich during the Cold War.'". Journal of Transatlantic Studies. Vol. 6, No. 2.
  • Holt, Robert T. Radio Free Europe (U of Minnesota Press, 1958)
  • Johnson, Ian (2010). A Mosque in Munich. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Johnson, A. Ross, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond. (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, Stanford University Press, 2010)
  • Johnson, A. Ross and R. Eugene Parta (eds.), Cold War Broadcasting: Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2010)
  • Machcewicz, Paweł. Poland's War on Radio Free Europe, 1950–1989 (Trans. by Maya Latynski. Cold War International History Project Series) (Stanford University Press, 2015). 456 pp. online review
  • Mickelson, Sig (1983). America's Other Voice: the Story of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. New York: Praeger Publishers.
  • Mikkonen, Simo (2010). "'Stealing The Monopoly Of Knowledge?: Soviet Reactions To U.S. Cold War Broadcasting'". Kritika: Explorations In Russian & Eurasian History.
  • Puddington, Arch (2003). Broadcasting Freedom: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
  • Sosin, Gene (1999). Sparks of Liberty: An Insider's Memoir of Radio Liberty. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
  • Urban, George R. Radio Free Europe and the pursuit of democracy: My war within the cold war (Yale University Press, 1997), He was the director of RFE in the 1980s

Other languages

  • Molnár, József (2006). A Szabad Európa Rádió a forradalom napjaiban – Autobiography. ISBN 963-9592-10-2.

External links

Coordinates: 50°4′44″N 14°28′43″E / 50.07889°N 14.47861°E

1991 Russian presidential election

The 1991 Russian presidential election was held in the Russian SFSR on 12 June 1991. This was the first presidential election in the country's history. The election was held roughly three months after Russians voted in favor of establishing a presidency and holding direct elections in a referendum held in March that year. The result was a victory for Boris Yeltsin, who received 58.6% of the vote.

Boris Vieru

Boris Vieru (2 July 1957 – 20 February 2019) was a Moldovan politician.

He worked for Literatura şi Arta (1988–1990). In 1998, Boris Vieru founded Chişinău office of the Radio Free Europe station. He had been a member of the Parliament of Moldova since 2009 until 2014.

Candidates in the 1991 Russian presidential election

This article contains the list of candidates associated with the 1991 Russian presidential election.

Dumitru Ciubașenco

Dumitru Ciubaşenco (born August 14, 1963) is a journalist from the Republic of Moldova.

Gheorghe E. Cojocaru

Gheorghe E. Cojocaru (born 8 February 1963) is a historian from the Republic of Moldova.

Grigore Singurel

Grigore Singurel (born Yefim Krimerman in 1923 - 2015) was a Bessarabian journalist.

Igor Boțan

Igor Boţan (born April 15, 1960, Cojuşna) is a political analyst from Republic of Moldova, expert on political phenomena and elections.

James L. Buckley

James Lane Buckley (born March 9, 1923) is an American jurist, politician, civil servant, attorney, businessman, and author.

In 1970, Buckley was elected to the U.S. Senate as the nominee of the Conservative Party of New York; he won 39 percent of the vote and served from 1971 until 1977. To date, he is the only member of the Conservative Party to be elected to Congress. During the first Reagan administration, Buckley served as Undersecretary of State for International Security Affairs. He was also President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from 1982 to 1985.

Buckley was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on October 16, 1985. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 17, 1985 and received commission on December 17, 1985. Buckley assumed senior status on August 31, 1996.

Kevin Klose

Kevin Klose (born September 1, 1940) is an American journalist, author, broadcast executive, and academic administrator.

Neculai Munteanu

Neculai Constantin Munteanu (n. 16 November 1941, Pufești, Vrancea County) is a Romanian dissident. Through his shows on Radio Free Europe he became known for condemning Nicolae Ceauşescu's regime, which lasted until 1989. His shows were secretly listened to by millions of Romanians.

After the fall of communism, Munteanu hosts a show on Radio Free Europe titled "Eu şi câinele meu, Securitatea" ("Me and my dog, the Securitate").

Nicolae Lupan

Nicolae Lupan (March 16, 1921 – January 25, 2017) was a Bessarabian journalist.

Nikol Pashinyan

Nikol Pashinyan (Armenian: Նիկոլ Փաշինյան, pronounced [nikɔl pʰɑʃinjɑn]; born 1 June 1975) is an Armenian politician serving as Prime Minister of Armenia since 8 May 2018 (as acting Prime Minister since 16 October 2018). He is a former journalist and editor.

A prominent journalist, Pashinyan first founded his own newspaper in 1998 which was shut down a year later. He was sentenced for one year for defamation against then Minister of National Security Serzh Sargsyan. He edited Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times) from 1999 to 2012. Sympathetic to Armenian's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, he was highly critical of second president Robert Kocharyan, Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan, and their allied oligarchs. Pashinyan led a minor opposition party in the 2007 parliamentary election, garnering 1.3% of the vote. He was an outspoken supporter of Ter-Petrosyan, when the latter made a political comeback prior to the 2008 presidential election. Ter-Petrosyan was defeated by Serzh Sargsyan in an election marred with widespread vote fraud and violence. Noted for his fiery speeches, Pashinyan had a significant role in the post-election protests which were violently put down by government forces on 1 March 2008 resulting in the deaths of 10 people. Pashinyan, blamed for "organizing mass disorders," went into hiding, only to re-emerge in mid-2009. He was controversially sentenced to seven years in prison; a move that was widely seen a politically motivated. He was released in May 2011 as part of a general amnesty. He was elected to parliament from Ter-Petrosyan's broad opposition coalition, the Armenian National Congress, in 2012.

He later broke from Ter-Petrosyan on political grounds, establishing the party Civil Contract. Along with two other opposition parties, Pashinyan formed the Way Out alliance which garnered almost 8% of the vote in the 2017 parliamentary election. He was the leader of the 2018 Armenian revolution which forced Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan and his government to resign. On 1 May 2018, he failed to gain enough votes from the Parliament to become the Prime Minister himself, but was elected in the second vote on 8 May.

Polygraph.info

Polygraph.info is a United States Government funded website launched by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America.A three-person team around senior Daily Beast editor Michael Weiss, assigned until 2016 to The Interpreter magazine, was kept on the Voice of America payroll until February 2017 for the then-new website. The website presents itself as a fact-checking website. A similar website in Russian language is factograph.info.Of the types of western responses to the challenge of Kremlin media (exposure of Russian disinformation, engagement with endangered populations, enhancement of local media), the site is in the category "exposure of Russian disinformation", next to the Ukrainian StopFake and the European Union EEAS East Strategic Communication Task Force's Disinformation Review campaigns.

Radio Free Iraq

Radio Free Iraq (in Arabic إذاعة العراق الحرّ, transliteration Izaa'at al 'Iraaq al Hurr) was a 24-hour radio station broadcasting in Arabic from Prague, Czech Republic, and directed to Iraq and the Iraqi diaspora. It started its broadcasts on 30 October 1998 and was part of the programming of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which is funded by the United States Congress. The radio station also ran an online edition which had regularly updated news and reports in Arabic.

The service ended on July 31, 2015, after what RFE/RL characterized as a merger with Radio Sawa Iraq, part of the Arabic-language Sawa service that replaced the Voice of America Arabic service.

Radio Mashaal

Radio Mashaal (Pashto: مشال راډیو‎) is a member of Radio Free Europe in Pakistan. It was launched in January 2010. It broadcasts in the Pashto language. Its headquarters are both in Prague, Czech Republic, and in Islamabad, Pakistan.The Radio Mashaal office in Islamabad was closed by the Government of Pakistan on January 19, 2018.

Vlad Georgescu

Vlad Georgescu (1937–1988), Romanian historian, was the director of the Romanian-language department of Radio Free Europe between 1983 and 1988.

Vladimir Socor

Vladimir Socor (born 3 August 1945 in Bucharest) is a political analyst of East European affairs for the Jamestown Foundation and its Eurasia Daily Monitor, currently residing in Munich, Germany. Socor's main specialization focuses on the political affairs and the ethnic conflicts of the former Soviet republics and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

War in Abkhazia (1998)

The War in Abkhazia in 1998 took place in the Gali district of Abkhazia, after ethnic Georgians launched an insurgency against the Abkhazian secessionist government. The conflict is sometimes referred to as the Six-Day War of Abkhazia, however this name only takes into account the Abkhazian offensive that lasted from 20 to 26 May 1998, while hostilities and insurgent attacks had already occurred before that date.

Yakov Krotov

Yakov Krotov (born 1957) is a Russian essayist, historian, radio host and priest of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Reunited.

In 1977-1989, he worked as a librarian and archivist. From 1990 he is a free-lanced author. He writes about history, Christianity, promotes values of tolerance, religious liberty and peace-making.

From 1997 he works for the Radio Free Europe, making weekly talk-shows under the title "From the Christian point of view".He has been lecturing in the United States on the Russian Orthodoxy as a Bradley Visiting Scholar in 1994.

He is married and has two sons.

1940s
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History
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media
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