Free Media Online reports that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is preventing the Voice of America from using an AM frequency [810 kHz] in Moscow for its Russian-language radio programes, even though the Russian authorities still allow the frequency to be occupied by VOA. It also says the BBG ignored directives from Congress and terminated all on air VOA Russian radio broadcasts on 26 July, just 12 days before the Russian army attacked Georgia.
The BBG’s plan also called for ending VOA radio programmes to Georgia, Ukraine, India and a few other countries. After the most recent Russian military intervention in the Caucasus, the Voice of America director Dan Austin has asked the Board for permission to temporarily continue VOA radio broadcasts to Georgia and Ukraine. He is said to be also considering asking the BBG to allow him to resume radio broadcasting to Russia, but he faces strong bureaucratic opposition from the Board’s executive director Jeff Trimble and his staff.