LITHUANIA: MEDIUM WAVES UPGRADED TO COUNTER RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION

The Sitkūnai site, which had stopped most of its broadcasts some ten years ago, resumed in early August at the request of the Dutch-registered radio station Radio Pravda
The Sitkūnai site, which had stopped most of its broadcasts some ten years ago, resumed in early August 2022 at the request of the Dutch-registered radio station Radio Pravda
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After years of inactivity, the Sitkūnai transmitter site is back in operation. Inaugurated in the 1950s, at the beginning of the Cold War, it had a strategic location due to its proximity to the borders of the Iron Curtain: signals heading west would have travelled a shorter distance. Today, however, by a counterpoise of history, the signal goes in the opposite direction, to counter Russian disinformation. The programmes of ‘Radio Pravda‘ are in fact aimed at Russian speakers in Europe and Asia. They are broadcast between 8pm and midnight on 1557 kHz, with a power of 50 kW, which is well heard in Ukraine, Belarus and European Russia. The signal, however, goes beyond the Urals, reaching Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan.

An inconvenient truth

A history of the transmitter can be found on the Dutch Radiovisie website: It was installed in Trintelhaven, the Netherlands, where Big L used it on 1395 kHz (from 2002 and 2003) and then on 1008 kHz
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Financed by private donations, Radio Pravda (Russian for ‘Truth’) is based in the Netherlands, where programmes are supervised by the Dutch Media Authority. The transmitter relocated this summer to Sitkūnai, it uses a new antenna, which has been recalculated to transfer the full power of the equipment into the ether. Telecentres (Lithuanian Broadcasting Centre, the state-owned operator of the main radio and TV broadcasting networks in Lithuania) has rebuilt and upgraded part of the infrastructure of the broadcasting centre, which had been disused for some time.

There are ‘two truths’

A Radio Prawda Dija Rossii speaker filmed during the recording of a programme
A Radio Prawda Dija Rossii speaker filmed during the recording of a programme
Source

Radio Pravda is not to be confused with Radio Prawda Dija Rossii (Radio Truth for Russia), a project of Russian and Ukrainian journalists based in Poland, which has been broadcasting on 9670 kHz from the Austrian antennae in Moosbrunn since April 2022. Dutch Radio Pravda, also known as ‘Nasha Lenta‘ (our band), will change its name to Radio Lenta, precisely to distinguish itself from the Polish station.

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