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RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service: Radio Azatliq

Radio Azatliq is the only major international news provider reporting in the Tatar, Bashkir, and Russian languages to audiences in the Russia's multi-ethnic, Muslim-majority Volga-Ural region.


  • Alternative to Russian state media in local languages in the Volga-Ural region since 1953.
  • Despite censorship, entirely digital; covers regional, local, and stories under-reported in state media.
  • Reports on Russia’s policies toward ethnic and religious minorities.
  • Russian-language regional website Idel.Realii covers public corruption, religious extremism, environmental issues.
  • Multimedia project “Eide!Online” teaches modern Tatar language online in response to increased Kremlin pressure to limit use of Tatar.
  • Produced special visual project on Russian war casualties. Published book "Saying No to War,” featuring 40 Russians telling stories of resistance amid harsh sentences.
  • Published investigative reports on "ethnic battalions" Russian regime formed to fight in Ukraine.
  • Monitors and maps rising Chinese influence with microsite.
  • Four million people viewed Service’s project about​ domestic violence and its effects.


January – December 2022

  • Website: 2.1 million visits; 3.2 million page views
  • Facebook: 26.3 million video views; 3.9 million engaged users
  • YouTube: 3 million video views; 87,000 subscribers
  • Instagram: 2.1 million video views; 31,462 followers

Updated: April 2023

Media Climate

  • Journalists frequently subject to harassment and threats; many freelancers forced to leave country for their safety.
  • Multiple contributors labeled foreign agents. Police in Kazan, Tatarstan searched homes of several freelancers and briefly detained them in August.
  • Websites and social network accounts blocked or restricted.
  • Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index​ ranks Russia 155th out of 180 countries.

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