One of the advantages of hosting a contributor-driven shortwave radio audio archive, is receiving off-air recordings of defining moments in our world history. This is certainly one of them.
SRAA contributor, Richard Langley, writes:
“I’ve started to convert some of my old cassette shortwave recordings to mp3 files. I’ve uncovered a box of about 25 tapes with recordings mostly from 1990 and 1991. This was an interesting era for shortwave. There was the reunification of Germany, the breakups of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and then the First Gulf War. I monitored some of these events using my venerable Sony ICF-7600D receiver with the supplied wire antenna draped around my home office. I bought this receiver during a trip to Hong Kong (and the P.R.C.) in 1985. It was my first decent shortwave radio and I still have it but it has since been joined by several other receivers.
[The following] is a recording of President Mikhail Gorbachev’s resignation speech as broadcast live by the World Service of Radio Moscow. As the announcer says, “a moment of history in the making.” It begins at about the three-minute mark of the recording (at 17:00 UTC). The speech is followed by a program of classical music (filler), the News in Brief at 17:30 UTC, followed by part of the program “Africa as We See It.”
Richard: many, many thanks for sharing this recording–I can’t wait to hear the other treasures you uncover in your collection.
For your listening pleasure: Radio Moscow World Service from December 25, 1991 on 17,670 kHz, beginning at 1657 UTC. Click here to download this recording as an mp3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:
“When I used to listen to Radio Moscow back in the mid- to late 1960s, they used to play a little ditty just after they came on the air (at least in English). This tune was NOT the “Moscow Nights” tune so often heard. As I recall it was a lively tune.
On one of my many trips to St. Petersburg in the 90s and the 00s, I would often visit the memorial to the WW2 Leningrad siege, specifically the museum underneath. One time, I heard the melody I am looking for. I was told by someone there, that this melody was played during the siege as a signal that “all is clear” (I presume from German bombing).
I would be grateful if anyone has any information or a copy of this melody.”
Can you help George identify this tune? If so, please comment!
…I received [an email] from the Voice of Russia. It parallels what you have reported on your blog, however in her reply Elena Osipova also sent me an attachment in the form of a “poll” or survey. It seems she may be collecting data re: listenership habits. I would encourage others disappointed in the VOR closure reports to email Ms. Osipova and complete the survey as well.
I wrote the Voice of Russia following the suggestion that their broadcasting on shortwave radio may soon end. A response has now arrived from the Letters Department of the VOR’s World Service. And the current word? Very similar to that of my previous post, though VOR confesses that the topic is presently being talked about:
This is to…inform you that the information about the presumable cancellation by the Voice of Russia of shortwave broadcasts as of January 2014 does not come from VOR’s official sources, therefore at this point we can neither confirm nor deny it since the issue is currently under discussion.
In other words, stay tuned…
Not exactly a positive note–no news is no news–but I am impressed that they are taking the time to respond to each inquiry so quickly.
Voice of Russia Antenna site in Wachenbrunn, Germany (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Dominik, for sharing email responses he received from the Voice of Russia regarding news of their closure.
Below are two quotes from two different responses:
“Unfortunately, so far we have no official information as regards the cancellation of shortwave broadcasting. However, we cannot rule out such a scenario for the future, since currently the VOR is speedily introducing modern day technologies of radio and internet broadcasting.”
“Thank you very much for your letter and for your concern about the presumable cancellation of shortwave broadcasting by the Voice of Russia. As I said earlier, so far we have received no official information in this regard, however, we keep receiving letters from concerned listeners. Thank you very much for your support.”