Soviet Union Table of Contents
Like other party-controlled media in the late 1980s, radio broadcasts attempted to instill in the population a sense of duty and loyalty to the party and state. Every day the government broadcast an estimated 1,400 hours of radio programming to all parts of the country, often in as many as 70 languages. The main programming emanated from Moscow, where eight radio channels broadcast 180 hours daily to audiences throughout the country.
Government domination of radio broadcasts was, however, not complete. Since the onset of the post-World War II Cold War, government programs have competed with broadcasts originating in the West, which have been aimed across the country's borders with the intention of providing independent information to the population, particularly on topics that censors desperately tried to ban. The government, until 1988, routinely jammed radio broadcasts by American-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Deutsche Welle, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) Ministry of the Interior broadcast. An estimated 2 to 3 million citizens regularly listened to these foreign broadcasts when the authorities were not jamming them.
Data as of May 1989