In brief

RFE/RL broadcasts in Tatar, Bashkir, Chechen under threat

Trump administration plans to cut funds, close services

 Captura de pantalla de Radio Azatliq.
Captura de pantalla de Radio Azatliq.
Two Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) services broadcasting in the Russian, Tatar, Bashkir and Chechen languages are set to disappear in September 2020 at the latest if the US Congress approves a cut proposal submitted by the administration of President Donald Trump. The closure of another RFE/RL service that broadcasts only in Russian, Radio Svoboda, is however not foreseen.

The proposal aims to reduce by 22% the budget of international broadcasts of several US services publicly funded. These include RFE/RL’s Radio Azatliq/Idel-Realii (which broadcasts in Tatar, Bashkir, and Russian) and Kavzak.Realii/Marsho Radio (in Chechen and Russian). The cuts will also result in the closure of services in Georgian, Macedonian, and Montenegrin.

RFE/RL’s Tatar, Bashkir, and Chechen services are virtually the only professional media that critically inform on Russia’s linguistic policies on a regular basis, sources familiar with the broadcasts tell Nationalia. The same sources add that the services offer qualified jobs for speakers of those minoritised languages.