Voice of Russia — former “Radio Moscow” — to End Shortwave Broadcasts
Voice of Russia (VOR), the former Radio Moscow during the USSR era, will cease shortwave broadcasts as of January 1, 2014. In addition, effective December 9 as a result of a decree signed earlier this month by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Voice of Russia radio company officially ceased to exist and merged with several other state-run news agencies as part of Rossia Segodnya, a Russia-based international news service.
From the 1950s through the 1980s, the station, as Radio Moscow, was a virtual beacon for short-wave listeners (SWLs), many of whom gravitated into Amateur Radio. Voice of Russia currently broadcasts to 160 countries in 38 languages for 151 hours per day on short and medium waves, on FM, via satellite, and via the Internet. Earlier this year shortwave transmissions were cut to 26 hours a day in all languages, down from more than 50 hours a day in 2012.
VOR, which claims to be the first radio station to broadcast internationally, will continue to broadcast online and via three medium-wave transmitters. In 2003 VOR was among the first major international radio broadcasters to launch daily broadcasts to Europe in Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM). Putin’s decree also abolished the State Fund of Television and Radio Programs, placing it under control of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.