Washington, D.C. — As the world awoke to unprovoked war in Europe, audiences turned to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) for breaking news and analysis of the escalation. With journalists across the region and RFE/RL’s Ukrainian, Belarus, Russian, and Current Time networks providing on-the-ground coverage, RFE/RL is uniquely positioned to provide the facts to audiences across the region that are being bombarded by Kremlin disinformation.
- RFE/RL’s networks recorded 13 million page views on their websites on February 24, representing a 159 percent increase over the previous day and a 248 percent increase over the same day one week before (February 17).
- RFE/RL Ukrainian Service websites, which include content for audiences in Crimea and Donbas, alone recorded 4.7 million page views yesterday, a 313 percent increase over the previous day and 557 percent rise over the same day one week before.
- Current Time’s live coverage of the early hours of the invasion was viewed more than 10 million times across social platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, reflecting a 25-fold increase over the same day the previous week for Current Time’s morning show.
Jamie Fly, President of RFE/RL, spoke of the importance of providing uncensored news and information and condemned Russia’s aggression: “With Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, our mission to share the facts with audiences that are denied that truth by their governments or that need independent information during a crisis is more important than ever.”
“Vladimir Putin initiated an unprecedented act of war against Ukrainian democracy today, but he has been assaulting the rights of the Russian people and undermining democracies for decades. We will continue to report the truth about him and the Kremlin’s lies and fabrications to our audiences in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and throughout the region during this critical moment.”
RFE/RL is staying close to the story, offering comprehensive, around-the-clock reporting from our journalists on all aspects affecting our audiences during this conflict. This includes coverage of events Russian authorities would rather ignore, such as the outbreak of anti-war protests across Russia, damage to civilian apartment buildings in Kharkiv as a result of Russian bombardment, and massive traffic jams caused by civilians trying to flee the attack on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. RFE/RL continues to counter Russian propaganda through our services’ live videos, in-depth reports and analysis, podcasts, photo galleries, maps, infographics and real-time blogging.
To stay up to date on the latest developments, follow RFE/RL’s Live Briefing: Ukraine Under Attack – updated throughout the day. Several RFE/RL services, including the Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian and Current Time networks, are also live blogging the invasion, and RFE/RL has also created a list of its most relevant Twitter feeds.
In response to intensified attempts by Russia’s media monitoring agency Roskomnadzor to keep Russian audiences from accessing factual reporting on the invasion, RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Tatar-Bashkir Service, Crimea.Realities, and Current Time units are educating their audiences on a variety of means to bypass online censorship and safely access information. Such efforts to ensure access to RFE/RL content are especially relevant given Roskomnadzor’s recent attempts to force RFE/RL to take down content tied to corruption investigations by jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s team.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through USAGM.
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Contact Martins Zvaners
Deputy Director of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC