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Ukraine: RFE/RL’s Comprehensive Coverage Of Russia’s Aggression

The damage from inside a kindergarten in Stanytsa Luhanksa, Ukraine, which according to Ukraine's military officials was damaged by Russia-backed separatist shelling (February 18, 2022).

WASHINGTON -- With more than 150,000 Russian soldiers and sailors now surrounding Ukraine on three sides, and Belarusian and Russian forces carrying out large-scale military maneuvers less than 100 miles from Ukraine’s capital, the danger of full-scale war remains high. RFE/RL offers comprehensive around the clock reporting to audiences in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and in English to audiences around the world.

RFE/RL is uniquely positioned to cover and analyze events as they unfold, with four news services – its Ukrainian, Belarus, and Russian services and the Current Time digital network – fully focused on the crisis. As tensions mount, with a surge in shelling and leaders of the Kremlin-backed separatists that control parts of Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk announcing the evacuation of residents to the southeast of Russia, RFE/RL will be reporting from the line of contact in Donbas and from Russia’s Rostov region.

Stories to follow

  • In a February 8 interview, leading Russian military expert Pavel Felgengauer observed that the military would be fully prepared for action that week, and the Kremlin’s decision to start an invasion would come in three days, on February 11 – which turned out to be the day that Western countries sounded the alarm to begin evacuations of diplomatic personnel.
  • Reporters also traveled to Ukraine’s eastern border to meet with elite Ukrainian soldiers defending the line of contact and visit an isolated Ukrainian village on the border, as well as the city of Mariupol, 20 miles from the line of contact, to gauge the mood of locals about the threat of invasion.

Newsmaker and expert interviews

RFE/RL interviewed Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.K., Vadym Prystayko, who walked back controversial comments that Ukraine could give up its NATO ambitions, as well as Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons, who questioned whether Russia’s top officials entirely understand the costs of a potential military invasion, both in terms of loss of life and the economic consequences.

What’s Ahead: On February 19, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service will air an exclusive interview with Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces Serhiy Sobko. The Russian Service will publish an interview with the Hoover Institution’s Michael Bernstam on the potential for economic sanctions to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine as well as analysis of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Russia strategy. RFE/RL will also be providing in-depth live coverage of the Munich Security Conference.

RFE/RL’s News Services

RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, with a monthly average of over 8 million visits and 11 million page views to its websites as well as nearly 600 million video views on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in 2021, sets a standard in the Ukrainian media market for independence, professionalism, and innovation. Its comprehensive coverage includes the award-winning reporting of its Donbas Realities and Crimea Realities websites and “Schemes” investigative reporting team.

Labeled an "extremist organization" by the Belarus government, RFE/RL’s Belarus Service provides independent news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language, relying on social media platforms such as Telegram, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as mirror sites and an updated news app to circumvent pervasive Internet blockages and access disruptions.

RFE/RL’s Russian Service is a multiplatform alternative to Russian state-controlled media, providing audiences in the Russian Federation with informed and accurate news, analysis, and opinion. Despite being labeled by the Russian government as a “foreign agent,” The Russian Service’s websites, including its regional reporting units Siberia.Realities and Northern.Realities, earned a monthly average of 12.7 million visits and 20.6 million page views in 2021, while 297 million Russian Service videos were viewed on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Current Time is a 24/7 Russian-language digital and TV network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA. In addition to reporting uncensored news, it is the largest provider of independent, Russian-language films to its audiences. Despite rising pressure on Current Time from the Russian government, which has labeled the network a media “foreign agent,” Current Time videos were viewed over 1.3 billion times on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram/IGTV in FY2021.

About RFE/RL
RFE/RL relies on its networks of local reporters to provide accurate news and information to more than 37 million people every week in 27 languages and 23 countries where media freedom is restricted, or where a professional press has not fully developed. Its videos were viewed 7 billion times on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram/IGTV in FY2021. RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media.


Martins Zvaners in Washington (, +1.202.457.6948)
Karin Maree in Prague (, +420.221.122.074)