On Friday 5 August at 17.00 UTC, “Radio Pravda” started broadcasting on AM 1557 from Sitkunai in Lithuania. The station, also known as “Nasha Lenta” (Our Band), provides independent information in Russian to Russia and Belarus and is fully funded by private donors.

Its programmes are under the supervision of the Dutch Media Commission. Radio Pravda received permission from the Commissariat and its programmes are compiled in the Netherlands before being transmitted to Lithuania for rebroadcasting on AM 1557 kHz. The Lithuanian authorities in turn issued a ‘retransmission licence’.

There are no political motives and no involvement of any government, not even financial. “The only thing that matters is the free flow of uncensored, verified information to Russia and Belarus.”

The transmitter used in Lithuania is the Nautel RX50 which was previously used by Big L on AM 1395 kHz from Trintelhaven in the Netherlands, in an attempt to reach a daytime audience in England. Later this transmitter was used on 1008 kHz to broadcast the religious station Groot Nieuws Radio. Since the 1008 kHz was closed down, the transmitter was stored in the Netherlands.

The past few weeks a lot of work was done to get the full 50 kilowatts on the air on AM 1557. This also required a new antenna design.

The results are phenomenal. The signal on AM 1557 can be received well at night throughout Europe. There is a strong night signal in cities like Saint-Petersburg, Moscow and Minsk and it also covers the whole territory of the Ukraine.

Even on Russia’s border with Norway in the Arctic, the signal is still quite good, as well as in Novosibirsk, which is some 1,500 kilometres from the transmitter site.

Hans Knot (2022-08-10)