Lithuania / Ukraine

Impartial Radio in The Occupied Territories of Ukraine: Broadcasts To Be Organised by The Ministry of Transport and Communications
2023 06 22

The Ministry of Transport and Communications was instructed by the Government on Wednesday [21 June 2023] to ensure the implementation of medium-wave radio broadcasts from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. From April 2022, this service will [?] enable citizens of Ukraine to receive impartial information from the Ukrainian authorities through alternative means. In 2023, the broadcasting costs will be covered by the Lithuanian state budget.
Ukraine is facing electricity supply issues and daily blackouts. In the event of a power outage, FM transmissions, TV broadcasting and internet access are interrupted.
The public is left without any source of information. By transmitting medium-wave radio broadcasts from Lithuania, the Ministry of Transport and Communications ensures the stable and uninterrupted transmission of radio broadcasts to the citizens of Ukraine (including the territories of Ukraine seized by Russia, which cannot be covered by FM), as these broadcasts can be received by any car radios as well as by simple battery-powered radio receivers.
Radio broadcasts remain the only source of reliable and timely information for citizens under occupation, where Russian propaganda and disinformation are actively disseminated.
“Supporting Ukraine is a priority for the state, and therefore, taking into account the contribution we have made so far, we have found opportunities to continue to preserve radio broadcasts on the territory of Ukraine via a medium-wave transmitter,” told Ramūnas Dilba, Chancellor of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The radio programmes can be received at a distance of more than 1000 km from Lithuania and reach an audience of more than 100 million people in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
According to a letter from the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, due to the unstable operation of the electric power system in Ukraine, it is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to ensure the uninterrupted transmission of radio broadcasts. This is particularly relevant in areas where infrastructure is almost completely destroyed.
 Radio programmes are delivered to the occupied territories in Lithuania by SC Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre.

There seems to be a problem with the tenses.
The reference to April 2022 suggests that Lithuania pays for the airtime of the nightly broadcasts of the Ukrainian Radio which started in April 2022 and will continue doing so. 

Dr Hansjoerg Biener (2023-06-25)

Actually, it’s about a prolongation of nightly relays of Radio Ukraine International (21:00-03:30 UC on 1386 kHz). There is a more detailed article on that at the Lithuanian Radio & TV’s site, though it’s in Ukrainian. I don’t think that they are efficient in the occupied territories, taking into account that these relays are made at nights and early mornings (when most people sleep) and the fact that almost every hour starts with a news bulletin in foreign languages. And the power of 75 kW is not that big to reach southern and eastern Ukraine in a decent quality. In fact, the Lithuanians pay for the external service of the Ukrainian Radio rather than for broadcasting for the occupied territories…

According to the article, last year’s expenses of the relays exceeded EUR 50,000. The Ministry of Finance requested to allocate EUR 170,130 for their prolongation in 2024. Initially I thought those were paid by RFERL, but now it has become clear that it’s up to Lithuania.

Alex Miatlikov to MWlist iog (2023-06-25)

In Sitkūnai they had an 500 kW tube transmitter:

It seems they don’t have it anymore, it looks like they ripped all old stuff out of their building.

Marco to MWlist iog (2023-06-25)