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RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service: Radio Europa Libera

Radio Europa Libera reaches nearly 20 percent of the population in Moldova each week, increasing listeners’ understanding of local, regional, and global events.

Fast Facts

  • RFE/RL’s Moldova Service, operating out of its Chisinau bureau, has evolved since its radio days to provide audiences with objective reporting and independent commentary across digital platforms and on TV. Reporting by its award-winning journalists is constantly cited by local media, and its reports and interviews are reprinted every week by local media in Romanian and the Russian language.
  • The Service also provides unique, fact-based news and information to the separatist Transdniester region. It reports in Romanian and Russian, both on the internet and, in the case of the highly acclaimed program Transnistrian Dialogues, on Moldova Public Radio and a local affiliate.
  • In 2019, the Service supported the relaunch of RFE/RL’s Romanian Service, which was the parent of the Moldova Service until its closure in 2008. Together, the two units constitute a powerful presence in a region where media independence has declined, and disinformation about western institutions and democratic practices is widespread.
  • The Service has won loyal audiences with the documentary current-affairs series Pur si Simplu (Clear and Simple), and a semi-weekly talk show on Moldova 1 that is the public TV channel’s most-viewed political program. A U.S. Embassy grant helped fund AntiNostalgia, a multi-media project that produced a microsite, live debates in 9 cities and towns, and TV content for the Service’s affiliates addressing the Gulag, the 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the role of the Communist secret police.
  • Moldova Service Director Oana Serafim, Chisinau bureau chief Vasile Botnaru, and correspondent Valentina Ursu have all been awarded Romania’s National Order of Merit.
  • In press freedom rankings, Moldova is designated “partly free” by Freedom House and ranked 118/198. According to the Center for Independent Journalism in Moldova, a considerable number of media institutions are concentrated in the hands of politicians. Russian-sponsored Sputnik Moldova provides programming in Romanian and Russian online, and a 2017 poll found that 43% of Moldovans received news and information at least partially from Russian broadcast media and 54% trusted those sources. Russian media is pro-Kremlin, and portrays the EU as “morally degraded” and “on the verge of disintegration.” In 2018, Moldova banned TV broadcasts of Russian news and analytical programs.


January – December, 2019

  • Website: 4.9 million visits and 6.9 million page views
  • Facebook: 34.3 million video views; 245,500 followers; 6.1 million engaged users
  • YouTube: 15.5 million views and 56,300 subscribers
  • Instagram: 98,000 video views; 49,400 IGTV views; almost 10,900 followers

Updated: May 2020

Facts & Stats about Moldova

  • Population: 3.55 million (World Bank estimate, 2018)
  • Most Common Languages: Romanian (Moldovan), Russian, Ukranian, Gagauz
  • Freedom of the Press (Freedom House): Partly Free, ranked 56th out of 100 (2017)
  • World Press Freedom Index (RSF): 91 out of 180 (2019)
  • Corruption Index (Transparency Int.): 120 out of 180 (2019)
  • Global Peace Index (IES): 68 out of 163 (2019)
  • Amnesty International: Moldova Report (2017/2018)

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