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Radio News: War in Ukraine is also on the radio

Apr 07, 2022 11:32 pm

Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine is not just a war of people and weapons, but of radio waves. In early February Russia began by bombing TV towers and attacking internet services. Then a major story in the war was that Russian troops were using unencrypted signals to communicate. Here is an excerpt of a New York Times report on intercepting Russian war transmissions. Click here to download or play excerpt. On April 7 Der Spiegel magazine reported that German intelligence intercepted radio exchanges between Russian soldiers who discussed killing civilians outside Kyiv, possible further evidence of Russian war crimes. In one conversation recorded by the Germans, a Russian soldier claims he shot and killed a cyclist. In another, a Russian soldier can be heard saying that bystanders should initially be questioned, then shot. And the information war is also taking place outside of Ukraine. The British Broadcasting Corporation in early March restarted restarted broadcasts on two shortwave radio frequencies – 15735 kHz and 5875 kHz – with their World Service news in English that can be received clearly in Kyiv and parts of Russia. The BBC had stopped broadcasting to Europe on shortwave frequencies in 2008. Now, though, the BBC’s Russian language news website's weekly audience has more than tripled since the invasion began, with a record 10.7 million people in early March compared to a usual average of 3.1 million. Radio Miami International is also beaming all sorts of signals into the conflict, providing news that is not allowed to be heard otherwise in Russia, and may be difficult to receive otherwise with the infrastructure damage in Ukraine. WTWW in Lubbock, Texas is also beaming music and information into the area. “I got a friend in the Ukraine that I’ve been emailing back and forth with and corresponding with and he loves Creedence Clearwater Revival,” said Dan Collins from the station. “He loves it. I mean, he’s a big fan. It’s just kind of cool to be able to entertain the folks and also put some things in that they may not know. We have listeners in Russia. They don’t get the truth. They’ll never get the truth, but they can’t stop us. That’s the beauty of it.”