RFE/RL: One Billion Video Views In 2017 – And Counting

On September 13, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) surpassed the 1 billion mark for combined views of its video content on Facebook and YouTube in 2017.

RFE/RL videos are watched by audiences in 20 countries and 23 languages, with users in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan accounting for the lion’s share of views. They reflect RFE/RL’s active embrace of innovation that has taken the company from its radio origins to the cutting edge of journalism, social engagement, and information exchange.

RFE/RL-produced videos and documentary products will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and Moscow’s ArtDoc Film Festival in 2017-2018.

A breakdown of the language services that are RFE/RL’s top performers on Facebook and YouTube follows. A selection of the videos driving the traffic follows that.

Top Services – Video Views (January-August, 2017)



Top Videos (January-August 2017)


RFE/RL interviews opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, after his detention on Tverskaya Street (27 March 2017).

A video report on an explosion in the Russia’s St. Petersburg metro (3 April 2017).

An explainer and interview about Uzbek-Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, caught in a controversy involving the transfer of a luxury property to a charity foundation run by former classmates of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (19 March 2017).

Live stream of March 25 Freedom Day rallies in Minsk and other cities (25 March 2017).

An episode of a live news program covering the situation on the frontline after clashes along border of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh (2 February 2017).


Elderly Russians talk to Current Time about their pensions and how the payments impact their lives (15 May 2017).

Following a Current Time documentary program about a "blind village" in Russia, social network users pitched in to help pay for a new apartment for Sergei, who had long lived in a dilapidated communal flat (4 June 2017).

Sabawoon Nangarhari, an Afghan boy who has studied in Pakistan, speaks fluent English and is now lobbying for reform of the education systems in Afghanistan and Pakistan (4 April 2017).

A 12-year-old Pashtun girl living in Pakistan’s impoverished tribal areas sells popcorn in Islamabad to support her ailing parents and family members (27 June 2017 – viewers of the video have contributed several hundred dollars to help support the family, and arrangements are being made for her to attend school).

Pensioner Tamara Mikhailovna, 81, spoke openly with RFE/RL about her views of Russian President Vladimir Putin (29 April 2017).

French President Emmanuel Macron called Russia Today and Sputnik "agents of influence" during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris (29 May 2017).

This 24-year old Afghan man invented a robot that runs on a solar charge and can do seven different operations at once (23 January 2017).