Shortwave Logs, August 2016: Radio Ukraine International

1. Radio Ukraine International

Once upon a time, there was a broadcaster named Radio Kiev, or Kiev Radio – a foreign broadcasting station from the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

Maybe you won’t even know there was such a thing like Radio Kiev. But you might do an online search and find that Radio Kiev was a shortwave broadcaster, the official foreign broadcasting station of the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, and that after World War 2, in 1962, Radio Kiev went on air in English, probably for the first time in its history, and that they added German in 1966, and Romanian in 1970. There had been shortwave broadcasts in Ukrainian, addressing the Ukrainian diaspora, since November 1, 1950. All this information can be found on Wikipedia.

Radio Kiev QSL, 1985

A bluesy QSL card from Kiev, confirming reception of a shortwave broadcast in German, on December 8, 1985.
Click picture for Radio Ukraine International (formerly Radio Kiev).

I listened to Radio Kiew every once in a while, during the second half of the 1980s, the dying days of the Cold War, and I remember hardly anything of the program content – I usually listened to the programs in German. On certain holidays, they opened their broadcasts with “the Ukrainian state anthem”, which struck me as odd – but then, Ukraine had a foreign broadcaster of their own, so why not an anthem.

In all other respects, the message was similar to that from Radio Moscow, Radio Kiev’s sister station: the achievements of the Soviet Union, the harmony between the Soviet nationalities, etc. – although I have no idea if Radio Kiev covered foreign affairs, too, as Radio Moscow did. Even the modulation from Kiev sounded similar to Moscow, something which, in Radio Moscow’s case, was later attributed to the use of two microphones pointing towards the presenter, giving it a characteristic echo as there was a phase difference between the sound captured by the mikes.

There are no Radio Kiev files in my sound archive, but I did keep the QSL cards: one showing a melancholic city scene, crumbling building facades and an apparently indestructible tram with olive-green varnishing. I have no idea where the photo was taken; there is no English-language description on the reverse side (see picture above). Other cards presented a Monument to participants of the January armed uprising in 1918 in Kiev who died fighting for Soviet power, a Monument to heroes of the Great October Socialist Revolution who gave their lives for Soviet power, the “Sputnik” international youth tourism bureau, a Monument to Ivan Kotlyarevsky, outstanding Ukrainian writer, Vladimir Street – Taras Shevchenko State University is in the foreground, and the October Palace of Culture.

You probably had to be a somewhat selective listener:

Radio Kiev’s DX program will keep busy with the preparations for the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow from now. The DX program will be broadcast from 19:00 to 19:30 on every first and third Friday in the German-language broadcast, and the English-language DX program can be listened to on Wednesdays from 20:50 to 20:57,

Weltweit Hören, a West German shortwave hobby magazine, noted in June, 1978.

Radio Kiev was succeeded by, or renamed into, Radio Ukraine International (RUI) in 1992, a bit more than half a year after Ukraine’s Supreme Soviet had approved the Declaration of Independence, and three months after a referendum that voted in favor of independence.

Seven and a half years after RUI’s inception, in September 1999, the broadcaster’s last active shortwave transmission site near Lviv had to be closed down, as its operation, including spare part imports from Russia, had become unaffordable, Radio Berlin Brandenburg reported at the time. [Correction, Sept 3, 2016: the last big transmission site went off the air, according to RBB, in September 1999 – the Brovary site, with four 100-kw-transmitters, remained available, apparently until December 2010, when all shortwave broadcasts were terminated, according to Wikipedia.]

In December 2015, Ukrainian parliament passed legislation that prescribed – and limited – public funding of public enterprise, which will be tasked to fulfill functions of foreign broadcasting broadcasting, of RUI.

It’s probably no great liability for the state budget: Instead of shortwave transmitters, RUI counts on the internet, with livestreams and podcasts. and, according to the standard announcement at the beginning of each German program, on satellite (Astra 4 A).

The signature tune has remained the same throughout the decades, from the 1980s to now. And the program languages seem to reflect unchanged foreign-policy priorities: in Ukrainian, English, German, and Romanian.

German-language podcasts are available at the Funkhaus Euskirchen Website radio360.eu. And a half-hour English-language program is relayed by the American shortwave broadcaster WRMI, every morning at 02:00 hours UTC (previously 23:00 UTC), on 11580 kHz. From about March to October, the program can usually, but not every time (see logs underneath), be well heard in northwestern Germany.

WRMI appears to be interested in reception reports concerning the Radio Ukraine relays. Reports can be sent to radiomiami9@cs.com.

____________

2. Recent Logs

International Telecommunication Union letter codes used in the table underneath:

ARG – Argentina; ARM – Armenia; AUT – Austria; BOT – Botswana; CLN – Sri Lanka; D – Germany; EQA – Ecuador; G – Great Britain; INS – Indonesia; LTU – Lithuania; MLA – Malaysia; SVN – Slovenia; TIB – Tibet; TUR – Turkey; TWN – Taiwan; USA – United States of America.

Languages (“L.”):

? – not recognized; E – English; F – French; G – German; M – Malaysian; N – Dutch; R – Russian.

The table underneath might appear messy unless you click the headline of this particular post – or it may remain invisible unless you click “continue reading”.

kHz

Station

Ct
ry

L

Day

UT

S I O
  9410  TRT Ankara TUR G Aug 01 1730 4 5 4
  9526 RRI Jakarta INS G Aug 04 1800 2 4 2
 11580 RUI Kiev USA E Aug 04 2330 3 3 3
11580 Radio Slovakia USA E Aug 13 0000 4 5 4
11711 RAE B. Aires ARG ? Aug 13 0230 1 1 1
11711 RAE B. Aires ARG ? Aug 13 0300 1 1 1
  6050 HCJB Quito EQA G Aug 13 0429 3 4 3
  3995 HCJB Weener
moor
D G Aug 13 0430 4 4 4
  6155 ORF AUT G Aug 13 0500 4 5 4
  9485 Hamburger
Lokalradio
D G Aug 14 1200 3 4 3
  7310 R. Mi  Amigo D N Aug 14 1305 4 5 3
 11795 AWR CLN E Aug 14 1601 4 3 4
11580 RUI Kiev USA E Aug 15 0200 5 5 4
  6185 RTI Taipei G G Aug 15 1900 4 5 4
11580 RUI Kiev USA E Aug 16 0200 3 4 3
11711 RAE B. Aires ARG ? Aug 16 0255 0 0 0
15580 VoA BOT E Aug 16 1600 4 5 4
    918 R. Slovenia SVN E Aug 17 2031 4 4 4
    918 R. Slovenia SVN G Aug 17 2035 4 4 4
  3985 R. Slovakia D G Aug 19 1800 4 5 4
  6050 HCJB Quito EQA G Aug 20 0400 3 4 3
  6130 PBS Tibet TIB E Aug 21 1600 4 4 4
  3955 KBS Seoul G G Aug 22 2000 4 4 4
11580 RUI Kiev USA E Aug 25 0200 3 4 2
11665 RTM Sarawak MLA M Aug 27 1558 3 3 3
11665 RTI Taipei1) TWN G Aug 27 1600 3 2 3
  6165 Radio Japan LTU R Aug 28 0455 4 4 4
  5975 Radio Japan G E Aug 28 0501 5 5 5
 11580 RUI Kiev USA E Aug 30 0400 4 4 3
11845 Radio Prague2) ARM G Aug 31 1800 4 4 4
11845 Radio Prague2) ARM F Aug 31 1833 4 4 4

____

Footnotes

1) This was part of a series of direct broadcasts in German from Tamsui transmission site, near New Taipei, Taiwan. There will be some more direct broadcasts this year, as → currently stated on RTI’s website.
2) This, too, was a special treat. While RTI German broadcasts on shortwave every night from Woofferton, England, and occasionally directly from Taiwan, Radio Prague‘s →transmission via Shortwave Service on August 31 was a very rare exception. Radio Prague →abandoned shortwave in January, 2011.

____

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