Accessibility links

RFE/RL History in Images

Take a look at more than 65 years of RFE/RL history in photos. Established at the beginning of the Cold War to transmit uncensored news and information to audiences behind the Iron Curtain, RFE/RL now provides uncensored news and information in 26 languages to 23 countries, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Russia. Audiences turn to RFE/RL for what they cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.


A broadcast from the first RFE studio in Munich, where RFE began broadcasting in May 1951.
1

A broadcast from the first RFE studio in Munich, where RFE began broadcasting in May 1951.

From 1953 to 1956 RFE floated balloons from West Germany filled with news reports over the Iron Curtain.
2

From 1953 to 1956 RFE floated balloons from West Germany filled with news reports over the Iron Curtain.

Radio Liberation Journalist Valerian Obolensky in the 1950s. Radio Liberation (later Radio Liberty) began broad casting to the Soviet Union in 1953, which Radio Free Europe focused on Soviet satellite countries. The two entities merged in 1976 as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
3

Radio Liberation Journalist Valerian Obolensky in the 1950s. Radio Liberation (later Radio Liberty) began broad casting to the Soviet Union in 1953, which Radio Free Europe focused on Soviet satellite countries. The two entities merged in 1976 as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

Former U.S. First Lady and Human Rights Champion Eleanor Roosevelt sits down for an interview in the late 1950s with Radio Liberty.
4

Former U.S. First Lady and Human Rights Champion Eleanor Roosevelt sits down for an interview in the late 1950s with Radio Liberty.

In RFE's early days, the 1956 Hungarian revolution provided one of the first challenges for RFE journalists.
5

In RFE's early days, the 1956 Hungarian revolution provided one of the first challenges for RFE journalists.

Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower talks with RFE director C. Rodney Smith in front of a map showing RFE's broadcasting area in the early 1960s.
6

Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower talks with RFE director C. Rodney Smith in front of a map showing RFE's broadcasting area in the early 1960s.

Germany -- Czechoslovak Service Broadcaster Rozina Jadrna prepares a music program in the 1960s. RFE/RL’s programming included, and still includes, cultural items not accessible to people in its broadcast region.
7

Germany -- Czechoslovak Service Broadcaster Rozina Jadrna prepares a music program in the 1960s. RFE/RL’s programming included, and still includes, cultural items not accessible to people in its broadcast region.

U.S. journalist Walter Cronkite narrates a film about RFE commissioned by the National Committee for a Free Europe in the 1960s.
8

U.S. journalist Walter Cronkite narrates a film about RFE commissioned by the National Committee for a Free Europe in the 1960s.

Future U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by RFE in 1962.
9

Future U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by RFE in 1962.

During the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, RFE was the main source of reliable information.
10

During the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, RFE was the main source of reliable information.

Aftermath of the February 1981 terrorist bombing at the RFE/RL headquarters in Munich.
11

Aftermath of the February 1981 terrorist bombing at the RFE/RL headquarters in Munich.

The master control room of the RFE/RL Munich headquarters, 1980s.
12

The master control room of the RFE/RL Munich headquarters, 1980s.

Broadcaster Maryam Ahmadi reads the first news broadcast of the new Radio Farda, RFE's service to Iran, December 2002.
13

Broadcaster Maryam Ahmadi reads the first news broadcast of the new Radio Farda, RFE's service to Iran, December 2002.

Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel speaks at the 10th anniversary of RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague, 2005.
14

Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel speaks at the 10th anniversary of RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague, 2005.

A correspondent from RFE/RL's service to Kyrgyzstan interviews rural Kyrgyz women.
15

A correspondent from RFE/RL's service to Kyrgyzstan interviews rural Kyrgyz women.

Maksim Kapran, a correspondent from RFE/RL's service to Belarus, covers a protest as riot police march to shut it down.
16

Maksim Kapran, a correspondent from RFE/RL's service to Belarus, covers a protest as riot police march to shut it down.

RFE/RL's Afghan Service interviews locals in Helmand Province who have been displaced from their villages.
17

RFE/RL's Afghan Service interviews locals in Helmand Province who have been displaced from their villages.

During the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War, RFE/RL's coverage was widely heralded.
18

During the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War, RFE/RL's coverage was widely heralded.

RFE/RL's Armenian Service correspondent Ruzanna Stepanian covers a standoff between police and demonstrators in Yerevan.
19

RFE/RL's Armenian Service correspondent Ruzanna Stepanian covers a standoff between police and demonstrators in Yerevan.

Famed Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya is interviewed by RFE's Russian Service before her murder in 2006.
20

Famed Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya is interviewed by RFE's Russian Service before her murder in 2006.

RFE/RL's Akbar Ayazi moderated the first ever debate between Afghan presidential candidates, August 2009.
21

RFE/RL's Akbar Ayazi moderated the first ever debate between Afghan presidential candidates, August 2009.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits RFE's new headquarters in Prague, April 2009.
22

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits RFE's new headquarters in Prague, April 2009.

A young girl in Azerbaijan talks to an RFE/RL correspondent.
23

A young girl in Azerbaijan talks to an RFE/RL correspondent.

Radio Azadi employee looks at letters sent in to the radio station by Afghan listeners.
24

Radio Azadi employee looks at letters sent in to the radio station by Afghan listeners.

RFE/RL conducting radio distribution in Shaidave Province Afghanistan on October 25, 2010
25

RFE/RL conducting radio distribution in Shaidave Province Afghanistan on October 25, 2010

Load more

XS
SM
MD
LG