BBC resurrects WWII-era shortwave broadcasts as Russia blocks news of Ukraine invasion After it saw a huge spike in traffic following the invasion
By Jon Porter@JonPorty Mar 4, 2022, 5:53am EST
The BBC is resorting to broadcasting news bulletins over shortwave radio in Russia after the country blocked access to BBC websites, The Guardian reports. The BBC announced it was bringing back the WWII-era broadcasting technology in the region just hours before its sites were banned. News of the ban was also reported by Russian state news agency RIA.
Shortwave radio uses frequencies that carry over long-distances and are accessible on portable sets. The BBC says its shortwave broadcasts will be available on frequencies of 15735 kHz from 6pm to 8pm and 5875 kHz from midnight to 2am Ukraine time. News will be read in English, which the BBC says will be available in Kyiv as well as “parts of Russia.”
Shortwave radio has a long history of wartime broadcasts. The Guardian reports that its usage peaked during the Cold War, but that it was also used throughout WWII to broadcast propaganda. The BBC World Service ended its use of the technology in Europe in 2008 after 76 years.