From Moscow With Love: Comments on the future of VOR

RIA Novosti Newsroom, Moscow (Source: Wikipedia)

RIA Novosti Newsroom, Moscow (Source: Wikipedia)

SWLing Post reader, Richard, writes:

This is apparently a transcript from Vasily Strelnikov’s most recent “From Moscow With Love” that represents, probably as much as anything, the thinking currently within the halls of VoR.

Interesting reading & listening –

Many thanks, Richard, for sharing. Note that you can read and listen to the full show on the Voice of Russia website.

From Moscow With Love is hosted by Vasily Strelnikov and Natalia Stefanova. I thank them both for their refreshingly frank view of the the future of their show and the Voice of Russia.


Click for direct links to their show audio for part 1 and part 2. I’ve also pasted the bulk of the transcript below for the convenience of email subscribers:

(Source: Voice of Russia)

“This is our last show this year and, who knows, probably the last show on the VR.

There’s been a lot of talk on the internet all over the place about the end of shortwave broadcast from the Voice of Russia. Is it going to happen? I don’t know. I haven’t discussed it with anyone around here. Am I worried like some of you are? No. Am I losing sleep over it? No. Am I posting mindless crap about this all over the Internet? No. Do I care? Not really. Do I have a life? Yes, I’d like to think so. So, many stations have already left the shortwave for the same reasons. Are we as shortwave listeners happy? No. But can we put all our emotions aside and deal with reality? You might be asking why there hasn’t been on the air or on the website about this. Good question. I would probably guess it is because folks here don’t make such a big deal out of it. The fact is most of the comrades here at the office will continue working just as they always did. The programs will be carried online, on satellite and on the many local stations around the world in cities like Washington DC, New York, Miami, Chicago. There are DAB broadcasts in the UK and other European cities. The list grows all the time. Yes shortwave listeners are disappointed, I can understand this. But the hobby doesn’t end there. Get a grip.

But what about the merging of the station with RIA or RIA News Agency?

At the risk of sounding like the devil’s advocate, let me say I am not an employee of this radio station for as long as I’ve been a shortwave listener including the very early years as a kid in Maryland in the years I worked at radio Moscow World Service, I’ve always felt there was so much room left for improvement at radio Moscow. Now if this merger with the other Russia news organizations leads to something good, I can only welcome this. It’s been long overdue.

But aren’t you sad at all? This is bad news for the shortwave listeners around the world.

What I am sad about is the yet unconfirmed information dealing with having to move out of this historic building into a new facility several miles away because, maybe it is because we worked here for a long time, our lives are connected with this building at Pyatnitsaya street.

I suppose we feel like the BBC staff when they were forced to leave Bush House. It looks like most of the people are very worried about the future.

And what’s that got to do with leaving the building?
It is everything.

We are talking about our plans for New Year’s holiday as it is a time when the whole country goes on vacation for 10 days and the consequences are felt for the rest of the year. As for yours truly, I’ll probably spend a few days in the country in the fresh air, relaxing, playing with my new radio. But the atmosphere in Moscow if we talk about the first 10 days of January is very nice. It is very quiet during the holidays here. The city is empty, as all the oligarchs are out of here, off-shores. There is no traffic, the lighting is still there, it is magical. I also want to take a late night dinner cruise on the Moskva River aboard the Radisson fleet.

That must be a fantastic experience now that Moscow is sparkling with thousands of lights.

Let’s talk about traditions a bit more. You mentioned the one about throwing all the old stuff away. The one I never understood, I mean tradition speaking was how and why you are supposed to say farewell to the old year by having a drink a few minutes before midnight.

That is very simple, mind you, it is an absolute must to say goodbye to the old year and thank it for all the good things it brought you. After that you must have a shot of vodka or a glass of wine or any other alcoholic beverage provided it is not Champaign. Champaign is something to see the new year in.
I think it is just another excuse to drink. What about all the mythical animals that are always associated with this holiday? It may sound dumb coming from me and it probably is, but I don’t recall paying any attention to these things back in the US but here every year is assigned with an animal, like this time. It is the year of the horse.

Right, blue horse.

Are Russians really into that sort of thing?

I think they are and I am very much into this. And I am ready to tell you all that I know about the year of the blue horse and the oriental and occidental horoscopes, and their influence on people. But let’s do it next week because it is a very interesting topic and we simply have no time for it now.

One New Year’s tradition here is to have Santa Claus or Father Frost and his Snow Maiden visit kids from their parents workplace.

In USSR another New Year’s tradition which I hated was watching TV till the early hours of morning. There was nothing to watch but a lame soviet produced New Year’s special called Blue Light made up of ideologically safe jokes and unbearable Soviet singers. And later that night it would be followed by an east German production featuring dancers from the Friedrichstadt-Palast Cancan troop.”

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3 thoughts on “From Moscow With Love: Comments on the future of VOR

  1. KV Zichi

    Is it just me or did Vasily S. essentially dismiss his audience in this programme as people who need to ‘get a life’?

    One wonders what school of public relations teaches its students to tell customers they are worthless scum who should be thankful you don’t want to help them or even interact with them because it is beneath you? It seems to be the school most of today’s international broadcasters attended!

  2. Troy

    Agree on both counts Jonathan (great show and that “transcript” was woefully incomplete).

    As 01 January 2014 ends, VoR has been silent since 2357Z 31 Dec 2013 on every shortwave frequency that I had been able to listen to & monitor them on. They have indeed joined the growing list of international broadcasters that have left shortwave for other technologies.


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