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RFE/RL’s Belarusian Service: Radio Svaboda

RFE/RL's Radio Svaboda overcomes significant censorship accompanied by draconian criminal penalties to provide audiences in Belarus with independent reporting. It counters pervasive disinformation and is a trailblazer on social media.



January – December 2022

  • Website: 12.9 million visits; 22.7 million page views
  • Facebook: 25.9 million video views; 6.5 million engaged users
  • YouTube: 17.9 million views; 216,000 subscribers; Premium Subscription: 13.3 million views; 60,600 subscribers
  • Instagram: 63.5 million video views; 300,000 followers

Updated: April 2023

Media Climate

  • RFE/RL journalists Ihar Losik and Andrey Kuznechyk unjustly imprisoned on fabricated charges by regime seeking to silence independent journalism.
  • Losik added to terrorist watchlist in June 2022, which RFE/RL President and CEO Jamie Fly called "an egregious abuse of the state’s authority and underlines the Lukashenka regime’s contempt for journalists who expose the truth.” Losik’s wife Darya arrested and sentenced to two years in a penal colony in January 2023.
  • RFE/RL award-winning journalist Aleh Hruzdzilovich arrested in 2021, tried for “taking part” in mass protests in aftermath of Lukashenka’s fraudulent re-election while covering the events as a reporter. Sentenced to penal colony but released in September 2022 after serving nine months.
  • December 2021: RFE/RL designated “extremist organization” by Belarus' Interior Ministry, criminalizing the reporting, distribution, and consumption of RFE/RL content. Belarusian subscribers face up to six years in prison for accessing RFE/RL content. July 2021: Minsk bureau raided, sealed. August 2020: Website blocked.
  • Reporters Without Borders’ 2022 World Press Freedom Index ranks Belarus 153rd of 180 countries, calling Belarus “the most dangerous country in Europe for media personnel.”

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