RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service: Radio Azattyq
In a propaganda-filled media environment, Radio Azattyq offers informed and accurate reporting that exposes corruption and counters Chinese and Russian disinformation.
- Established in 1953, Radio Azattyq operates out of bureaus in Nur-Sultan and Almaty, reporting in Kazakh and Russian languages.
- Produced multiple documentaries and investigations into public corruption.
- Radio Azattyq broke the story that former President Nazarbayev and his family obtained state-owned lands.
- Investigated the assets of President Qassym-Jomart Toqaev’s family in Kazakhstan and abroad.
- Counters Chinese and Russian disinformation.
- During January 2022 unrest, Azattyq’s YouTube channel had nearly 100 million views in one month, a historical record.
- Kazakh Service was the only media outlet in the country to gather the names, photos, and stories of “Bloody January” victims in an ongoing project to document the tragedy.
- Extensively covered snap presidential elections in November 2022.
- Received two awards from Internews-Central Asia Regional Media Festival for best coverage of January unrest and best reporting.
January – December 2022
- Website: 73.6 million visits; 106.4 million page views
- Facebook: 156.9 million video views; 26.4 million engaged users
- YouTube: 237 million views; 1.63 million subscribers
- Instagram: 127.3 million video views; 703,000 followers
Updated: April 2023
- Kazakh government censors press with telecommunications blackouts, internet shutdowns, and arrests.
- During mass protests in 2022, access to the Kazakh Service website was blocked and RFE/RL journalists were detained, shot at, and prevented from covering the unrest by the police.
- Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index ranks Kazakhstan 122nd out of 180 countries.