Congratulating Voice of America, Ukraine Service on the Occasion of Their 65Th Anniversaryby Representative Marcy Kaptur
Posted on 2014-12-16
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Voice of
America, Ukraine Service on the occasion of their 65th anniversary. For
65 years, from the dark days of Stalin's rule to Putin's current
aggression against their country, VOA's Ukrainian Service has been a
crucial source of news and information for the people of Ukraine.
Throughout the Euromaidan revolution and Russia's campaign of
aggression against Ukraine, VOA's Ukrainian Service has served an
essential role as a unique and comprehensive source of news,
information and discussion about the year-long crisis and the U.S.
Nearly every moment of television airtime has been devoted to U.S. official and expert commentary and analysis regarding the Ukrainian people's drive to overthrow authoritarian rule and integrate with the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin's determination to stop them by any means, and American and European efforts in support of Ukraine. This surge in Ukraine-related content was accompanied by an expansion of broadcasts, and both initiatives, combined, resulted in remarkable ratings, with the Service reaching more than 18 percent of the adult audience in Ukraine in a given week and maintaining VOA Ukrainian's position as the most popular Western international broadcaster in Ukraine.
VOA began broadcasting in Ukrainian on December 12, 1949. Throughout the Cold War, it was a beacon of freedom for the citizens of Soviet Ukraine, who were living under repressive rule. With the collapse of the U.S.S.R., VOA Ukrainian took advantage of new opportunities offered by Ukraine's declaration of independence. After decades of jamming, VOA was able to sign contracts with the government broadcast channel and local FM stations for transmission of VOA radio programs on Ukrainian airwaves. In 1993, the agency launched VOA's first television program, a weekly Ukrainian-language TV magazine, Window on America.
Every week, VOA's Ukrainian Service reaches millions of people in Ukraine, a strategically located country of 45 million with a persistent Soviet legacy but with strong European aspirations. Ukrainian news organizations have a very limited reporting presence in the United States, thus VOA provides viewers in Ukraine with a unique, thoughtful and revealing window on America life, and remains the leading international broadcaster in the country. Through its daily reporting on U.S. politics, foreign policy, social issues, business, culture and the arts, VOA provides comprehensive, accurate and authoritative information that Ukrainians can employ in strengthening their nascent democracy, market economy and independent statehood.
This past year, perhaps more than any other, the service of VOA Ukraine has been a crucial lifeline between the people of the United States and Ukraine. It is with great pride that I warmly congratulate VOA Ukraine and their highly capable staff, notably chief Adrian Karmazyn, on this extraordinary milestone and wish them another 65 years of success in the public service.