Radio waves

When high tech fails, go low tech

Ras-Putin decreed total censorship of the media as part of his takeover. Independent news sources inside Russia were either backed up with military force or chose not to report on the invasion as the only way to stay open. And the news media of all other countries were forced out of Russia. There is no way from inside Russia to report the facts to their people.

So don’t do it from inside the country. Do it from the outside, in a way Ras-Putin can’t stop you from doing it.

The BBC again turned on its radio towers, broadcasting to Russia on shortwave, as it did during the Cold War. Russians with shortwave radios can listen for four hours a day, and Ras-Putin can’t do anything about it.

When high tech fails, go low tech. Luckily the BBC never demolished the towers and transmitters.

BBC website blocked in Russia as shortwave radio brought back to cover war in Ukraine

Access to BBC websites has been restricted in Russia, hours after the company restored its shortwave radio service to Ukraine and Russia to ensure civilians in both countries can access information during the invasion.

The state communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has restricted access to BBC Russia’s online presence, as well as Radio Liberty and the Meduza media outlet, Russian news agency RIA reported on Friday.

[. . .]

The BBC’s shortwave radio broadcast can be found on 15735 kHz from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on 5875 kHz from 10 p.m. to midnight Ukrainian time.

The BBC’s decision to bring back shortwave came days after Russia launched two missiles at Kiev’s television tower, killing five people and blocking access to news and broadcasts.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote on Twitter that the Kremlin was preparing to cut communications and spread “massive false messages that the country’s leaders have given up on”.

Russia has cracked down on public dissent at home, while Kremlin-backed media organizations such as RT have been withdrawn internationally. The Kremlin has complained about the BBC’s coverage of the invasion, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claiming without evidence that the BBC “plays a determined role in undermining stability and to Russian security”.

And from CNet:

BBC brings shortwave radio broadcasts back to Russia

The move comes as Russia restricts access to BBC websites.

BBC shortwave radio broadcasts are back in parts of Russia and Ukraine as Russia moves to block British media websites within its borders.

The two new shortwave frequencies broadcast four hours of English news daily and can be heard clearly in Kyiv and parts of Russia.

“It is often said that the truth is the first casualty of war,” BBC director-general Tim Davie said in a statement. “In a conflict where disinformation and propaganda are rampant, there is a clear need for factual, independent information that people can trust – and in a significant development, millions more Russians are turning to the BBC.”

“We will continue to give the Russian people access to the truth, however we can,” Davie said.

The truth, from the British Biscuit Company? Compared to Ras-Putin’s propaganda machine, yes. but it’s better than nothing.