The BBC Caribbean Service broadcast its last programme on Friday and on Saturday the BBC Russian Service went on air for the final time.
Both services have been broadcasting for seven decades but have been axed as part of BBC World Service cuts in an effort to save £46 million a year. Around 650 jobs are being lost as part of the 16 per cent budget cut and the World Service has estimated that the cuts will cost the service 30 million listeners.
In this BBC Russian Service broadcast, Gabriel Gatehouse, who, until recently was based in Baghdad and who started his career with the BBC Russian Service, looks back at the Russian service’s 65 year history.
As the BBC puts an end to its 65 years of traditional radio broadcasting in Russian, it is hosting a series of special programmes this week looking back at its journalism over the years.
This will include speaking to key members of the Russian media to share their views on the broadcaster, including the owner of the Independent, Alexander Lebedev and leading Russian journalists and writers.
The final programme will take place on Saturday (26 March) with the BBC Russian live weekend programme, Pyatiy Etazh (Fifth Floor).
The BBC started regular Russian-language broadcasts to the Soviet Union on 24 March 1946. Throughout the years, the BBC radio brought independent news and analysis to Russian-speaking audiences. In its special programming, BBC Russian looks again at the key stories it has covered – reporting the cold war and the perestroika, the attempted putsch of August 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two Chechen wars and Beslan, the Russia-Georgia conflict and everything else that has mattered to its audiences in the region.
The BBC’s Russian output will continue on bbcrussian.com, where two radio programmes will be broadcast every Monday to Friday and one will be broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays.
Russian is one of seven radio programming languages which were proposed for closure as part of cuts to the World Service, along with Azeri, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish for Cuba, Turkish, Vietnamese and Ukrainian, and Russian.
Read more about the BBC’s special Russian programming here…