Search RFE/RL

Our Impact


Weekly audience
(January–December 2023)


Combined video views
(January–December 2023) 


Visits to RFE/RL websites
(January–December 2023)


Video views on Facebook
(January–December 2023) 

Where We Work

RFE/RL reports in 27 languages to 23 countries, reaching more than 40 million people every week. With over 1,700 staff, RFE/RL is one of the most comprehensive news operations in the world. 

23 Countries, 27 Languages

We report in 23 countries and 27 languages across Europe, Eurasia, Central Asia, and the Near East.

Our Prague Headquarters

RFE/RL was based in Munich from 1950–1995, then moved to Prague at President Václav Havel’s invitation in 1995.

Closed Media Environments

Closed media environments force many of our journalists to report remotely from Prague, Riga, Vilnius, and other locations.

Reaching Growing Audiences

RFE/RL breaks through state censorship and restrictions on media to provide audiences a platform for informed discussion and debate.


After the Taliban removed RFE/RL’s Afghan Service, Radio Azadi, from the FM airwaves in 2022, Azadi doubled its on-air programming time, now available 24/7.


The Persian-language service, Radio Farda, experienced dramatic audience growth on social media since start of Iran’s historic demonstrations following the death of Mahsa Amini.

Russia and Ukraine

Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian– and Russian-language audiences have surged to record numbers. RFE/RL is expanding Russian-language content offerings and launched a new platform, Votvot, to grow our audiences.

Advocacy priorities

Advocating for Press Freedom

RFE/RL journalists work in challenging media environments, often at great personal cost. We support them and a free press.

Extreme Government Pressure

RFE/RL faces extreme government pressure, harassment, and sophisticated censorship across its broadcast markets.

Imprisoned Journalists

RFE/RL advocates for the release of our imprisoned journalists and to ensure our staff can do their jobs free of threats, intimidation, and violence.

Imprisoned Journalists

RFE/RL advocates on behalf of its journalists who have been imprisoned because of their work. They must be released immediately to their families. Journalism is not a crime.

Vladyslav Yesypenko with his young daughter, who kisses his cheek.


Vladyslav Yesypenko, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, was detained in Russia-occupied Crimea on March 10, 2021.

A headshot of Ihar Lois


Ihar Losik, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, was detained in Minsk, Belarus, on June 25, 2020.

An image of Alsu Kurmasheva smiling at the camera


Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist with RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service, was detained in Kazan, Russia, on October 18, 2023.

Andrey Kuznechyk Headshot


Andrey Kuznechyk, a journalist for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, was detained in Minsk, Belarus, on November 25, 2021.


Still Have Questions?

RFE/RL provides uncensored, trusted local news, often acting as a public broadcaster. RFE/RL’s editorial decisions are separated from U.S. political interference by law so that our audience’s needs always drive our reporting. 

A free press allows people to make informed choices about their future. By contributing to media freedom in autocratic societies and emerging democracies, RFE/RL is supporting the long-term development and stability in the region we cover. RFE/RL’s budget is less than one percent of the overall federal budget and is spent fostering an open media climate as a core democratic value. This is vital to U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives to advance universal human rights. 

In many countries RFE/RL journalists knowingly work at tremendous risk. They are often harassed, threatened, physically assaulted, or detained in connection with their professional activities. In Ukraine, our reporters are covering a full-scale war from the frontlines. Nothing is more important than the safety of our journalists. We work closely with the U.S. and European governments, embassies, and many nongovernmental organizations to develop support networks and find ways to protect our journalists when they’re under threat.

RFE/RL is funded by the U.S. Congress through a grant from the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and has had no connection to the CIA for over fifty years.

In a world of disinformation and polarization, RFE/RL’s mission is critical to allowing people to make informed decisions about their futures. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine exemplifies why our mission is so important. 

Despite our Cold War history, today’s RFE/RL is digital-first. We reach our audiences where they are. In some countries, like Afghanistan, radio remains an important tool. In others, we have made concerted investments in digital news formats to best provide our audiences with trusted reporting. Because we work in closed media environments, in partnership with the Open Technology Fund, we are employing state-of-the-art censorship circumvention technologies to reach our audiences.

An essential guarantee of RFE/RL’s journalistic credibility is the “firewall” enshrined in the enabling legislation of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), the U.S. International Broadcasting Act. The firewall prohibits interference by U.S. government officials, including USAGM’s Chief Executive Officer, in the objective, independent reporting of news by RFE/RL, thereby safeguarding the ability of our journalists to develop content that reflects the highest professional standards of journalism. The firewall is critical to ensure that USAGM journalists and editors can make the final decisions on what stories to cover, and how they are covered. The results of this policy are clear — our audiences trust us. 

RFE/RL is funded by the U.S. Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM). USAGM is an independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S. global broadcasting. Under IRS rules, RFE/RL is a private, nonprofit Sec. 501(c)3 corporation. Chartered in Delaware, it receives federal grants as a private grantee. RFE/RL maintains a corporate office in Washington, D.C. RFE/RL is managed by President Stephen Capus and a board of directors chaired by Ambassador Karen Kornbluh. While RFE/RL is funded by the U.S. Congress, our editorial independence is protected by U.S. law. Further, RFE/RL staff are not U.S. federal government employees.

RFE/RL operates as a surrogate local news broadcaster in closed, polarized, or emerging media markets. RFE/RL provides uncensored, independent reporting on digital platforms, radio, and television, in local languages for in-country audiences.

We report in 27 languages and engage with audiences in 23 countries including in Europe, Eurasia, Central Asia, and the Near East.

Support Independent Journalism

Join us in advocating for press freedom and supporting RFE/RL journalists who have been unjustly imprisoned.