When Russia shuts down website, BBC uses old technology

Russia in turn blocked all media that did not follow the regime’s rules for what was allowed to write at any given time. Non-state media in Russia must be closed, and foreign media closed from access networks controlled by Russian authorities.

On the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the BBC News website is in Russian big increase in visits of Russian citizens. The number of Russian visits per week has tripled in one year. On the English page, weekly visitors from Russia had increased by 252 percent at the end of February.

With short waves

But by the end of last week, the availability of the BBC’s website had decreased sharply in Russia. based on Security This comes at a time when the BBC has continued something broadcasters haven’t been doing since 2008, namely offering radio broadcasts in Europe over shortwave frequencies.

During World War II and the Cold War, shortwave broadcasts by the BBC were important among other things to spread news and other things that did not escape the censorship of their opponents.

Although radio broadcasts can get stuck, it’s over mostly by, inter alia, the Soviet Union During the Cold War, this required a much greater effort than blocking websites on the internet. Atmospheric conditions also sometimes make jamming ineffective.

– It is often said that the truth is the first casualty in war. In a conflict where disinformation and propaganda is widespread, there is a clear need for independent, fact-based news that people can trust – and in the event of a major incident, millions of Russians turn to the BBC, says Tim Davie, BBC Director General in press release.

– We will continue to give Russians access to the truth, in every way we can.

Initially, two new shortwave frequencies have been defined – 5875 kHz and 15735 kHz – which together transmit World Service English four hours a day. Both must be clearly accepted in Kyiv and in some parts of Russia.

Alternative access method

Shortwave broadcasting is not the only measure BBC News is taking to make journalism available in Russia and other areas where the website is blocked. Over the weekend, the news service provided information on how the BBC website could be accessed by alternative means.

Among other things, this website can be accessed via and the address of the onion on the Tor network and via Psiphon App. The BBC has published instructions on this in English, Russian and Ukrainian this page.

Georgie Burke

"Music maven. Evil pop culture lover. Unapologetic creator. Friend of animals everywhere."

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