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RFE/RL: Decision Recalls ‘the Bad Old Days’ in Ukraine

RFE/RL: Decision Recalls 'the Bad Old Days' in Ukraine

Rebroadcasts of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty programs have been taken off the air in some cities in Ukraine after a privately held FM network ended a six-year-old agreement under which it had been rebroadcasting five hours of RFE/RL programs a day.
RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service continues to broadcast on shortwave to Ukraine, and programs remain available on independent FM stations in six cities.
In a press release, RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine called the Dovira move “a deeply disturbing political development and serious setback to freedom of expression in Ukraine.”
He was quoted as describing the decision as reminiscent of the “bad old days” and “a regrettable prelude to what we still hope will be a joyful celebration of the 50th anniversary of our Ukrainian service this summer.”
He said the main reason cited for canceling – that RFE/RL programs did not fit Dovira’s format – was baseless. He blamed it on a new management team headed by a businessman and journalist reported to be close to the administration of Ukraine’s president.
RFE/RL is looking for other affiliate partners to rebroadcast on FM in Kyiv and elsewhere.
This week, RFE/RL also began broadcasting to Ukraine on a new AM frequency from Hungary.