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BBC Russian radio service celebrates 70th anniversary

MUMBAI: Seven decades after its first shortwave broadcast on 24 March 1946, BBC Russian is celebrating its 70th anniversary, as a digital service that brings global stories to a Russian-speaking audience.

The words ‘Govorit London’ (‘London Calling’) became familiar to people in the then USSR, bringing international news and stories which were ignored or silenced by the domestic press.

Now, 70 years later, as a digital service reaching new audiences, BBC Russian continues to put Russian and regional stories in a global context, and report events in Russia and the wider region to the rest of the world. It plans to launch several major projects, further reinforcing its coverage of the region as part of the biggest expansion in the BBC World Service since the 1940s.

BBC World Service Regional Editor, Europe, Artyom Liss, says: “It’s an exciting time to be celebrating our landmark 70th anniversary, as we make plans to expand what the BBC can offer Russian-speaking audiences, following the recent investment into World Service.”

The 70th anniversary content across the BBC Russian output on the website, TV and social-media platforms includes:

  • a look back at the history of BBC Russian in photos and video;
  • as part of the new weekly vlog, #Londonблог, a behind-the-scenes view of BBC Russian today as well as the BBC’s New Broadcasting House – the high-tech London headquarters BBC Russian calls home
  • a 30-minute televised debate on freedom of speech on Thursday 31 March, with a panel of prominent Russian and Western journalists and academics
  • an event at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House on Friday 1 April, which will include a live link with the BBC Russian partner channel, TV Dozhd, as well as a video live on the BBC Russian Facebook page.

The website offers international and national news and analysis, bespoke video news bulletins and pieces, live and on-demand audio, interactivity and reports. BBC Russian connects with its audiences via Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram.