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About the Service

Radio Svoboda provides breaking news from bureaus in Kyiv, Lviv, and the front lines. It is among the most cited media outlets in Ukraine and broadcasts extensive, multi-platform coverage of Russia’s full-scale war. 

A survey finds that 14.1 percent of Ukrainians weekly consume information from Radio Svoboda on different platforms. This statistic comes from a Gallup World Poll survey in Ukraine in July 2023, which was commissioned by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). 

According to the survey, 95% of the audience trusts Radio Svoboda’s coverage, saying it increases their knowledge of developments in Ukraine and the rest of the world.  

Reporting from the front lines, RFE/RL journalists cover the human toll of the war, including Russian atrocities and sexual violence. 

The Service uncovered mass burials in Mariupol, documented the search for Russian sailors killed in the sinking of the Moskva cruiser, and reported extensively on “filtration” and the counteroffensive. 

It counters Russian disinformation through the Donbas.Realities, Crimea.Realities projects, and the “Schemes” investigative project. 

Reaches audiences under Russian occupation, and reports on daily life. 

The YouTube morning show “Svoboda.Ranok” recaps the latest news from the frontlines overnight, while giving Ukrainian audiences hope as they begin their day. 

The reporting project “How Are You?” tells stories of forced migrants displaced by Russian aggression. 

Reaching Audiences

Media Climate

Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index ranks Ukraine 61st out of 180 countries. 

Journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko was sentenced to a six-year prison term (later reduced to five) on fraudulent charges in Russia-occupied Crimea. 

In wartime, media activities in Ukraine are subject to restrictions. 

In August 2023, Radio Svoboda crew escaped injury when its car was shelled in the Donetsk region. Correspondent Yevheniya Kytayiva and camera operator Hanna Kudriavtseva provided first aid to the Ukrainian military, saving lives. 

Service correspondent Dmytro Yevchyn was wounded in shelling in Southern Ukraine in January 2024. He was filming along with a cameraman, Mykyta Isayko, when the attack occurred in Zaporizhzhya region. 


Shevchenko Prize

Long-time contributor Vitaliy Portnikov received the national Shevchenko Prize, the most prestigious cultural award in Ukraine, for his journalistic essays in May 2023.  

Honour of Profession

Radio Svoboda won Ukrainian national journalistic competition Honour of Profession in the category “Analytics” for its coverage of the military infrastructure in Crimea in June 2023. 

Media Center

Latest Updates

Ukraine -- RFE/RL president Stephen Capus meeting with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, February 26, 2024

RFE/RL President Capus Meets Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, Discusses Imprisoned Journalist in Crimea

During a meeting on Sunday between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and RFE/RL President Stephen Capus, the Ukrainian leader commended RFE/RL’s coverage of the Russian invasion.

RFE/RL President and CEO Jamie Fly meets with officials in Ukraine and Moldova.

RFE/RL President and CEO Jamie Fly Visits Ukraine, Moldova as RFE/RL Expands Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President and CEO Jamie Fly visited Moldova and Ukraine for meetings with senior officials, civil society groups, and the company’s journalists.

Journalist walks through the destruction of the Mykolaev airport, which was destroyed in Russian shelling.

RFE/RL Wins 2022 Online News Association’s Online Journalism Award

RFE/RL has won a prestigious 2022 Online Journalism Award (OJA) for coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Service Director

Maryana Drach

Maryana Drach is the Service Director of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda, overseeing the Service’s award-winning coverage of the country’s 2013-2014 Maidan demonstrations, Revolution of Dignity, and developments since. Under her watch, the Service has launched the impactful anti-corruption reporting project “Schemes: Corruption in Details,” as well as multiple-media programming efforts for the residents of Russia-annexed Crimea (Crimea.Realities) and war-torn eastern Ukraine (Donbas.Realities). Drach is a former fellow at the Reuters Institute for Study of Journalism (2019-2020). A native of Kyiv, Drach joined the service in 1996, specializing in international affairs. She earned an undergraduate degree in international studies from Roosevelt University and holds a graduate degree in in Public Administration from the Institute of Public Administration and Local Government in Ukraine. 

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