Wednesday, September 03, 2014

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Radio Svoboda provides its Ukrainian audience with uncensored and balanced news about political developments with a focus on human rights issues.

Fast Facts

  • Language: Ukrainian
  • Established: 1954
  • Distribution: Radio (FM, UKW, cable, satellite), Internet (website, mobile, YouTube, social media)
  • Coverage: Radio: 11 hours 55 minutes daily, Podcasts: 4 hours 10 minutes daily, Internet TV: 2 hours 5 minutes per week
  • Locations: Prague, Kyiv
  • Staff: 8 (Prague), 26 (Kyiv), and dozens of stringers

Media Environment

  • Although violations of media freedom rose during the runup to the 2012 parliamentary elections, the oligarchical nature of the media market remains the primary obstacle to media freedom in Ukraine. People linked with the presidential family are taking ownership stakes in many media outlets and local governments often control local media. Journalists who investigate wrongdoing at the local level still face physical intimidation.
  • Defamation is currently decriminalized, but recent attempts have pushed this into jeopardy.


  • Radio Svoboda’s morning program, “Morning Liberty,” airing news and in-depth analysis of social and cultural issues, was the top rated show in its time slot in Kyiv in 2012.
  • Radio Svoboda monitors developments in alleged politically-motivated investigations, interviewing targets such as former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko; Oleksandr Tymoshenko, the husband of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko; Bohdan Danylyshyn and Valery Ivashchenko.
  • Radio Svoboda provided minute-by-minute coverage of a vote-counting controversy in Kyiv following the 2012 parliamentary elections, sharing its live video feed with major internet outlets in Ukraine.
  • In September 2012 Radio Svoboda premiered new interactive programs examining conditions in Ukraine's regions ("We Together"/"My Razom"), provides a platform for young Ukrainians ("Youth Plus"/"Molod' Plyus"), and addresses audience interest in European integration ("Europe Connect"/"Evropa na zvjazku").
  • Radio Svoboda reporter Anastasiya Moskvychova was a finalist for the 2013 "Honor of the Profession" human rights prize, awarded by UNDP Ukraine and the British Embassy.

Updated: 30 June 2013

Facts & Stats

45.59 million (World Bank estimate, 2012)

Most Common Languages:
Ukrainian, Russian, Crimean Tartar, Yiddish

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House):
Partly Free, ranked 131 out of 197 (2013)

Press Freedom Index (RSF):
126 out of 175 (2013)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
144 out of 183 (2012)

Global Peace Index (IES):
111 out of 162 (2013)

Human Rights Watch:
Report on Ukraine (2013)

Amnesty International:
Ukraine Report (2013)