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RFE/RL’s Russian Service: Radio Svoboda

Radio Svoboda is a multi-platform alternative to state-controlled media, providing audiences in Russia with informed and accurate news and analysis.


  • In its 70th year, Service operates from Riga and Prague, and is more popular than ever; videos were viewed almost two billion times (2022).
  • Coverage of Kremlin’s “partial mobilization” and Ukraine’s counteroffensive drove significant traffic spikes.
  • Provides critically-acclaimed investigative reporting on full- scale Ukraine invasion, including notorious mercenary Wagner group activities.
  • When Russian authorities claimed the crew of the sunken Moskva cruiser was safe, Service’s reporters uncovered contrary evidence.
  • Reports on public corruption, and illegal businesses in Russian political spheres.
  • Investigative series The Committee Men revealed corruption scandals linked to Vladimir Putin.
  • Weekly documentary series Signs of Life offers insight into Russian society.
  • Podcast Studio produces popular podcasts for the Russian- language audio market.
  • Regionally-focused websites reporting on local stories ignored by state media in Siberia, the Northwest, and North Caucasus for minority ethnic populations in local languages.



January – December 2022

  • Website: 161.25 million visits; 278 million page views
  • Facebook: 25.9 million video views; 6.5 million engaged users
  • YouTube: 1.26 billion views; 3.4 million subscribers
  • Instagram: 56 million video views; 324,000 followers
  • Telegram: 175,000 across 8 channels

Updated: April 2023

Media Climate

  • Closed Moscow bureau after $17 million in fines levied for failure to comply with “foreign agent” labelling requirements (March 2022).
  • Websites blocked and dozens of journalists named “foreign agents.”
  • Reporters Without Borders’ 2022 World Press Freedom Index ranks Russia 155th of 180 countries, the lowest in Europe.

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