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About the Service

For over 70 years, RFE/RL’s Russian Service Radio Svoboda has produced far-reaching, unbiased reporting as an alternative to state-controlled media.  

Svoboda operates from Riga and Prague after being forced to close its Moscow bureau in 2022. Several journalists relocated from the bureau also currently work from the Georgian Service’s bureau in Tblisi.  

The Service’s coverage of the Kremlin’s “partial mobilization” and Ukraine’s counteroffensive drove significant traffic spikes. 

Radio Svoboda provides critically acclaimed investigative reporting on Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine such as the activities of the notorious Wagner Group

When Russian authorities claimed the crew of the sunken Moskva cruiser was safe, the Service’s reporters uncovered contrary evidence

Radio Svoboda frequently reports on public corruption and illegal businesses in Russian political spheres

The Service’s investigative series “The Committee Men” revealed corruption scandals linked to Vladimir Putin. 

The weekly documentary series Signs of Life offers insight into Russian society. 

Podcast studio produces popular podcasts for Russian- language audiences 

The Russian Service manages regionally focused websites reporting on local stories ignored by state media in Siberia and the Northwest, for minority ethnic populations in local languages. 

The Service’s YouTube channel has expanded dramatically as viewers seek out accurate and independent reporting on Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Channel subscribers grew from 45,000 in February 2022 to now reaching nearly 800,000.  

Reaching Audiences

Media Climate

Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index ranks Russia 164th of 180 countries. 

RFE/RL was forced to suspend operations in Russia after $17 million in fines were levied for failure to comply with “foreign agent” labelling requirements in March 2022. 

At least 20 Russia-focused RFE/RL websites have been blocked and dozens of journalists named “foreign agents.” 

In February 2024, RFE/RL was designated an “undesirable organization” by Russian authorities. Russian citizens face up to five years in prison for cooperating with “undesirable” organizations or aiding in their financing within Russia.   


Online Journalism Awards

Radio Svoboda was awarded 2022 Online Journalism Award for exceptional and innovative coverage. 

Media Center

Latest Updates

Russia Extends Detention of Alsu Kurmasheva; Her Imprisonment “As Outrageous Today as It Was Six Months Ago”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) condemns the latest extension of American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva’s pretrial detention.

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 Condemns Extension of American Journalist’s Detention in Russia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is outraged by today’s decision in Kazan, Russia to extend the detention of imprisoned American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva until April 5.

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