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Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Broadcast State of the Union Live to Iran, Afghanistan, Russia

(Washington, DC–January 31, 2006) Millions of listeners to Radio Farda in Iran and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Afghanistan and Russia will hear President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address tonight live, simultaneously translated into their languages.

Radio Farda, the 24-hour, daily Persian language service operated jointly from Washington and Prague by RFE/RL and the Voice of America, goes on the air at 9:00PM EST (5:30AM Wednesday in Tehran) with live coverage of the State of the Union speech by two moderators in RFE/RL’s Prague studios, presenting instantly translated highlights of the address.

Radio Free Afghanistan starts its program on Bush’s State of the Union speech in Dari and Pashto, the two main languages spoken in Afghanistan, at 6:30AM Wednesday Kabul time (9:00 PM EST, Tuesday).

RFE/RL’s Russian Service, heard on different broadcast frequencies nationwide in Russia, will feature live coverage of President Bush’s address to the U.S. Congress during its 6:00AM morning news magazine (10:00PM EST, Tuesday). The service devoted special segments to the forthcoming State of the Union speech during prime-time programs Tuesday across Russia’s 11 time zones.

Radio Farda, Radio Free Afghanistan, and RFE/RL’s Russian language Radio Liberty will continue programming on the State of the Union address on Wednesday with coverage of the Democratic response, interviews with RFE/RL regional experts and coverage of official and unofficial reaction in RFE/RL’s broadcast region.

RFE/RL broadcasts 1,000 hours a week in 28 languages from its broadcast center in Prague. RFE/RL services broadcasting to Central Asia and other former communist countries will carry translated excerpts of the State of the Union in their regular newscasts on Wednesday.