Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 25.07.2018
An increasingly confident Ukraine is sending a message of hope over the airwaves into the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas. An increasingly hysterical Russia is jamming frequencies in a futile effort to mask its weakened hold over the captive population.
The illegal occupation regime from Muscovy which has de facto control of Ukraine’s Crimea and part of Ukraine’s Donbas has worsened its persecution of Ukrainian-speakers and Tatar-speakers from among the captive population. Meanwhile, voices of freedom from unvanquished Ukraine broadcast television and radio signals into the territory where Ukrainians are living under Russian guns. These broadcasts are an antidote to Kremlin hate propaganda against sovereign Ukraine. They’re giving a message of hope in the state language of Ukrainian.
Serhiy Kostinskyi is a member of the National Council of Ukraine on Broadcasting. Speaking to Radio Krym.Realii (“Crimea.Realities”), Mr. Kostinsky announced that Ukrainian media broadcasting into the occupied territories (part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions plus Crimea) will deliver 75% of its content in the Ukrainian language. “We are broadcasting … on territories that Russia stole from Ukraine. And the Ukrainian language is not a problem, I tell you this as a Crimean citizen. If you get access to high-quality journalism, then the language does not matter,” he said.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, it stole 503 Ukrainian television and radio frequencies in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.
On July 24, the Crimean Human Rights Group reported that the Russian authorities in Crimea are jamming the signals from four Ukrainian FM radio stations. The Ukrainian radio stations broadcast from a 150 metre tower which has been built in Chonhar, just beyond the limit of the advance of Russian forces in Crimea in the invasion of 2014. The stations are “Ukrainian Radio” (100.7 FM), “Maidan” (101.4 FM), “Crimean Realities” (105.9 FM), and “Kherson FM” (107.8 FM). A monitoring group tested signal reception in the area around Armyansk, Crimea, Ukraine and in 13 other settlements in the north of Crimea. They found that Russian jamming had almost completely obliterated the Ukrainian signals. In most settlements, Russian propaganda stations stepped on the frequencies that belong to Ukraine. The invader radio stations have the names “Sputnik in Crimea,” “Crimea,” “Vesti FM,” “Vatan Sedasy.” The power of the Russian jamming is such that it bleeds over into some of Kherson region in free Ukraine.
“It should be noted that six months ago a qualitative signal from Ukrainian radio stations could be heard on the entire territory of northern Crimea,” reported the Crimean Human Rights Group. Their conclusion is that “recently the occupation authorities of Crimea have drowned the signal of Ukrainian broadcasters by including Russian radio stations on the same frequencies.”
The foreign invaders of Ukraine from Muscovy are scared. Despite incessant propaganda that “Crimea is ours!” the Russians are afraid of four little Ukrainian FM stations that broadcast entertainment and real news, increasingly in the Ukrainian language. Having no positive message to give, the Russian occupation regime jams radio signals to stop Ukrainians from communicating with Ukrainians, from the free lands to the occupied territory. This is a sign of weakness by Russia. Putin’s “divide and conquer” tactic to try to win his insane war against the Ukrainian people has failed. The evidence is in the airwaves of northern Crimea.