Voice of Russia closes DC bureau, fires staff

Voice-of-Russia-Logo(Source: VOA News)

Facing legal problems, the Russian government-funded radio network — the Voice of Russia — has fired its Washington bureau staff and closed the office.

The shutdown happened Monday, amid allegations of tax fraud and claims of racial discrimination at the network.

Alexei Iazlovsky, the head of the VOR’s U.S. operations, pleaded guilty last year to tax fraud and will be sentenced later this year.

VOR’s employment practices also have attracted attention from the IRS and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The IRS is investigating whether VOR used contractors alongside full-time, salaried employees to skirt payroll taxes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took an interest in VOR after several former staffers claimed they were fired because of their race.

The employees have filed a lawsuit against International TV Services, VOR’s contract manager in the United States.

Some suspect Voice of Russia will quickly return to the U.S. through a different management company without the legal troubles.

Earlier this year, the Russians stopped Voice of America broadcasting in Moscow on AM radio.

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4 thoughts on “Voice of Russia closes DC bureau, fires staff

  1. princehifi

    No doubt many of these overseas bureau gigs are ripe for abuse, shenanigans or living-the-life on taxpayers dime (or ruble in this case). So this story is unsurprising.

    I echo that VoR needs to get back onto shortwave. I used to listen regularly on 9665 khz. Have never listened on their website, never will.

  2. TP Reitzel

    Given that global IP networks are used for rampant spying and control, VOR’s decision to abandon broadcasting via shortwave for IP solutions and local AM/FM stations might have been a bit nearsighted. One limits potential liabilities or retribution by controlling the operational jurisdiction of activities. VOR, maybe it’s time to reactivate those shortwave transmitters in Russia.

    1. TP Reitzel

      As an addendum, we all know that the current administration would never misuse the IRS by targeting its political enemies, right? LoL


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