Kyiv, December 18, 2015. Ukraine’s Armed Forces are to launch their own radio station on March 1 with the support of a U.S. civil initiative, said advisor to the Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Makukhin at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He said the project is important for Ukrainian servicemen as they suffer from an information vacuum on the frontline. “The radio station will, first of all, be an entertaining product, music will make up 70% of its content. Surely news will be broadcast, as well as live air programs for servicemen where one will be able to send greetings and make musical requests. There will also be talks with commanders, volunteers and other military leaders,” said advisor to the Minister. In particular a morning program of the “field post” type and daily specialized programs are planned. For example it can be a talk with a chaplain or a psychologist, and a “hard talk” format show in the evening with, say, the command. It is planned to produce programs with useful practical tips for the military. The broadcasting network is currently being developed, that’s why the initiative is open for suggestions. The radio team will work from Kyiv and will include both military and civilian staff.
The initiative is also to help improve the horizontal interaction among servicemen in a less formal way. “Military radio is an important new communication channel for us. We want our soldiers, especially those who are in ATO zone, to be better connected with the news from home and better informed about the life of their country. The project will also allow improving ties between the units and the command in a quicker and informal manner,” said Defense Minister General Stepan Poltorak.
“Technically the content will be broadcast via satellite in FM-range. It is made for maximum convenience of the listeners, so that everyone willing can find the frequency and listen to the military radio,” said Major Serhiy Tetelytskyi, radio station director. Advisor to the Defense Minister said that the military radio will have maximum coverage at the territories where Ukrainian servicemen are present. “Moreover we will be placing the transmitters in such a way that they are mobile and thus we will be able to adjust the set up. Such a decision was made because the frontline can change over time,” elaborated Makukhin on future plans. Some of the FM frequencies that are to be used are being reassigned by private owners who are not able to use them due to temporary occupation of some areas, said Makukhin.
Work on the project lasted several months, said Isaac Eagan, Director of Field Operations at the “Spirit of America” civil initiative. It is an answer to the question what is the U.S. government doing to support Ukraine. He said while on a trip in the ATO zone he noticed that the troops lack communication among themselves and that there is a lack of information. “It would be very helpful to have clear, more effective communication between all players there. One of the best ways to do this is through the radio, through creating not only an informational platform but also a source for entertainment for the troops in this very difficult struggle,” said the Field Operations Director of the “Spirit of America”.
Jim Hake, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the charitable organization “Spirit of America” that is helping launch the military radio station said that American people very much feel for the situation in Ukraine. This charitable organization represents the people of the U.S. who want to help Ukrainians. “Ukraine has become very special to us. To me the most important, the most moving, the most inspirational thing is to see courage, spirit, and action. And the last ten days from Yavoriv to the villages outside Donetsk we have seen the courage and human spirit of the Ukrainian people, over and over again. And it has been just all inspiring for us. Ukraine really is a volunteer nation,” commented Jim Hake. He said that this kind of civic action is a foundation of a free and democratic society. They’ve seen people risking their lives so that they and their children can live in peace. “One of the expressions that I’ve learnt at the frontlines in the ATO zone this week was ‘volia abo smert’ (freedom or death – ed.). That is very similar to one of the expressions by one of the leaders of our independence movement. So we have very much in common with the Ukrainian people,” said founder and Chief Executive Officer of the charitable organization “Spirit of America”. He also said: “we understand that Ukraine’s fight is a fight for civilization, it’s a fight for all of us” adding that Ukrainians want to determine the future of their country on their own, that is their right and Americans very much believe in that.