Shortwave Comeback-Ukraine/Russia Discussion

The BBC has revived its shortwave to Russia and Ukraine!
As of Wednesday, the organization now manages two shortwave frequencies (15735 kHz and 5875 kHz) delivering four total hours of World Service English news per day. The first frequency runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern European Standard Time, while the second runs from 10 p.m. to midnight. The BBC says both frequencies can be received clearly in Kyiv and “parts of Russia"
I applaude this move!


In addition to BBCWS’s new service to Russia and Ukraine, Ö1, the main news channel for Austrian public service broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk has expanded distribution of morning, midday, and evening news programs to shortwave. “Ö1-Morgenjournal” can be heard on 6155 kHz at 0600 UTC, “Ö1 Mittagsjournal” on 13730 kHz at 1100 UTC and “Ö1 Abendjournal” on 5940 kHz at 1700 UTC.

If we are going to discuss Ukraine/Russia, let’s keep it civil and stick to known facts. There are enough lies out there already. :unamused:
BBC.com: How to spot false posts from Ukraine.
How to spot false posts from Ukraine - BBC News

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Can they broadcast in Russian?

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They certainly used to. A lot of BBC services have been cut over the last 15 years. Partly because of perceived changes in geopolitics, partly because of the rise of digital media, but mostly because the current British government has ideological objections to the BBC. The current government believes the BBC creates unfair competition for private, for-profit broadcasters - so they reduce BBC funding whenever they can.

Trouble is, who has an analogue short-wave receiver these days?

p.s. I think it’s past time we had a Ukraine thread here. I know we normally frown on political topics, because they can be so contentious - but the situation in Ukraine has gone way beyond politics.

I propose a Ukraine thread. Any objections?

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I suspect many Russians do. We are talking about people who use dash cams religiously because they do not trust their own police force. Surely there are still dxers in Russia.
I have no objections to a Ukraine thread. We can use this one since Ukraine is already a topic here.

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BBC broadcasts in numerous languages. They never completely left shortwave but were forced to cut several languages due to budget reduction. I am certain they can find a Russian speaker very quickly, it is the BBC, they are the best.

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The BBC currently have Russian speaking correspondents in Russia, and regularly reporting from there. There was a scare a few days ago, when the Russians passed a new law making it a criminal offence to spread “fake news” (i.e. anything different from what the Kremlin says) about Russian armed forces. For a few days, the BBC stopped reporting from Russia, but they’ve now resumed. They’re a bit more guarded in what they say - so, for instance, they won’t now say “The Russian invasion of Ukraine”. Instead, they say “What the Kremlin continues to insist we call a “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine”. They generally get the point across.

I think they’re incredibly brave to do it. If Putin decides to object, they could be facing up to 15 years in a Russian jail.

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It is interesting to watch the creative ways people and groups are finding to get around the information block Russia is putting in place. If the internet had been around in the days of the Soviet Union, it may have collapsed sooner than it did. But, even then, people managed to find ways to communicate with the rest of the world. Putin is being fairly short-sighted in believing he can truely cut people off from the truth.

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Part of the trouble is that it’s one thing to give people access to the truth - it’s quite another to get them to listen to it. People the world over are loyal to their own country. They don’t want to believe that they’re the bad guys.

Many of us in the West supported the war in Iraq. Our governments told us it was the right thing to do, and we went along with it. It now turns out that the reasons for the war were totally bogus. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and it had no chemical weapons. But we were loyal to our countries.

I’m sure most ordinary Russians have no animosity towards Ukraine… Quite the opposite. But if it’s a choice between believing your own government, or the reports of foreign journalists, most people will cling to what makes them feel safe, and on the right side of the moral argument.

Add to that the fact that the Russian police have been very keen to make a public example of arresting anybody who protests about the invasion of Ukraine, and I think it’s unlikely that Russian public opinion is going to sway Putin.

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Brought me to tears

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As for people not wanting to believe the truth, I agree. The ridiculous things some people in the US believe is really mind-boggling.

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Tell me about it. We already have people here in Britain complaining that they are “threatened” by Ukranian refugees, and wanting the government to keep them out. We haven’t even received any yet.

Maybe we could send the complainers to Moscow. I’m sure they would find a friend in Mr Putin. Then we could use their property to house refugees. Give the homes to people who deserve them.

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I can’t bring myself to repeat what some are choosing to believe here, but they definitely want to believe they have a friend in Putin. I suspect a few months in a country where they could no longer complain out loud might wake them up. Sounds like a plan. I know of a few Ukrainians who have made it into the states from Mexico and they are so relieved to be here. Maybe everyone should spend a few weeks under siege by someone who cares nothing for their lives and then maybe we would all be a little more grateful for what we have.

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Thanks @temp ! I was going to look for that. Know nothing about any of the games in the bundle but with so many there must be a little of something for just about anyone. Nice sum of change they have raised.
The many ways people have come together is really something I have not seen on this scale in my personal lifetime.

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I found this interview with two Russian Expats interesting:

Transcript: https://cis.mit.edu/events/transcripts/starr-forum-trump-putin-phenomenon

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It took me a bit of searching to discover that this video dates from September 2017. It’s powerful stuff, and although Gary Kasparov says he doesn’t have a magic crystal to see the future, it turns out he did a pretty good job.

It’s quite depressing to see that the extent of Russian interference in Brexit, Trump’s election, and the Dutch veto of Ukraines’s EU membership, were well understood five years ago. But we did nothing about it.

It’s equally depressing to note that whilst the panel give a good analysis of Putin’s aims and methods, they don’t offer any real answers to the threat he presents.

The only real ray of hope is that Putin will eventually die. Unfortunately, he will immediately be replaced by someone just as bad - or maybe worse. Things don’t look good for the future.

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This is also insightful and was presented as Russian tanks gathered. Fiona Hill is regarded as an expert on Putin. I watched her briefing as part of the Helsinki Commission. (I think there is a link to it in this write up) Gained a lot of insight from it. It also hits on the point of Putin’s mortality. One thing she pointed out in the briefing I watched is that Putin’s inner circle is asking him if he really still wants to be calling the shots when he is 80. They used the perceived view of Biden as old and weak to make him realize what that could look like to others. She points out this is part of his goal, to go into the Russian history books as a hero of the fatherland…not sure he will succeed.

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Again, it’s a clear and concise analysis - but it doesn’t offer any answers.

One part I found particularly telling was the description of Putin’s long-held view of Ukraine as the cradle of Russian civilisation, and his own close, almost sacred, ties to that country. So he murders its citizens, and bombs its cities into rubble.

I saw a news report yesterday which said the Russians had requested that the Belarussian army join them in the invasion of Ukraine, but that the Belarussians had refused. Not that the Belarussian politicians or generals had refused - but that the Belarussian soldiers had refused to go.

I don’t know how much truth there is in the report, and I have no way to check. Still, it’s a little glimmer of hope. Imagine Putin the mighty commander if his armies just said “no”.

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Well, remember why Belarus is tapping to Putin’s beat. The Belarusians tried to overthrow the guy. Putin rushed in and saved him. He owes Putin. But that does not change how the people in the street feel.
Look into Putin’s NATO-like org he has created. Collective Security Treaty Organization - Wikipedia
He has used this around the world to help keep dictators in power. Venezuela, Sudan, Mali, Syria…he thought he had a tried and true method for subdueing…it has failed miserably in Ukraine. That is why he is so angry, and hiding in his Ural Mt compound. The 40 foot table treatment he is giving even his cabinet members is very interesting…I personally think he is afraid.

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That one has lasted for a while as far as I know, and is primarily related to covid. The bug scares the hell out of him, to the point of paranoia.
It’s also possible that Covid delayed his plans, which would be a good thing. His ideal time to move would have been while Trump was president, which would have lead to a completely different geopolitical situation, with europe standing alone. He missed that opportunity, and now NATO is closing ranks on him while he’s bogged down in Ukraine with his and his military’s reputation shattered. That’s going to be a rather uncomfortable ride for everyone involved…

But there’s a lot more politicians involved in this than just Putin. One of the most telling pieces of writing I’ve read is this short article that was written in the beginning of february by a retired russian general, that highlights how Putins advisors imagined an invasion of Ukraine would look like, and what it will actually look like due to deficiencies in the Russian military and the lack of military understanding of the “experts” involved (spoiler alert: He turned out to be right about everything):

This entire article paints the picture of a circle of enthusiastic, but completely naive ideologues with no real understanding of any matters of importance in the Russian government. The disease that took hold of Russia seems to extend far beyond Putin…

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