As the Russian military’s buildup of troops along Ukraine’s borders intensified so has USAGM networks’ coverage, providing audiences with invaluable insight and analysis.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ukrainian Service Donbas.Realities’ weekly show on the topic trended to second on YouTube in Ukraine and third on YouTube in Russia with over 1 million views since April 11. The edition included user-generated content, analysis from experts on the military buildup, and a video report from the non-government-controlled area of Ukraine.
The RFE/RL service also sent reporters to eastern Ukraine’s separatist-controlled Donbas region, who reported on the increased use by separatist forces of Russian-made antipersonnel mines against Ukrainian positions.
For audiences wondering if the Kremlin launch could another military campaign against Ukraine, RFE/RL’s Russian Service provided analytic reports, explaining how and where Russian army detachments are deployed along the frontier with Ukraine, including interviews with researchers and security experts.
In addition to experts, RFE/RL also interviewed several opinion leaders to analyze the developments, including former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, the head of Ukraine’s delegation to the Minsk Trilateral Contact Group on a peaceful settlement in Donbas; Serhiy Harmash, a journalist who represents several districts of the Donetsk region as part of the Trilateral Contact Group; and Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s new Ambassador to the United States. These interviews were widely picked up or quoted in Ukrainian media.
And for audiences needing quick answers to their questions, RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom posted a piece explaining the background and key things to know about the situation
Voice of America Ukrainian Service’s reporting on Russian forces amassing in eastern Ukraine and prospects for Ukraine’s membership in NATO generated wide interest in the region. Real-time reports on statements by senior U.S. officials, high-level U.S.-Ukraine talks and the latest on the situation has driven significant traffic to VOA Ukrainian platforms, garnering more than 210,000 views and 80,000 interactions on the web and social media. Coverage featured the U.S. position as voiced by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and comments by former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer, among other experts.
VOA’s reporting has been influential in the local media sphere. Local media republished more than 100 times the service’s reporting on talks between Presidents Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky in early April, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with their Ukrainian counterparts. Coverage featured interviews with Ukraine’s military Commander-in-Chief, General Ruslan Khomchak, former commanding general of U.S. Army in Europe Ben Hodges and former U.S. special envoy on Ukraine Kurt Volker.
VOA also covered Biden’s offer to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in a third country while at the same time warning Moscow amid a massive buildup of Russian troops that any aggression against Ukraine will have consequences.