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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: March 23, 2022

Audiences Turn to VOA for U.S. Perspectives on Ukraine War Despite Russian Restrictions

As the war in Ukraine rages on, VOA's Ukrainian and Russian services continue to attract millions of viewers to their digital platforms. This week coverage featured live simultaneous translations of remarks by Presidents Biden and Zelenskyy, Secretary Blinken and the UNGA meeting on Ukraine; U.S. diaspora rallies and community initiatives in support of Ukraine; and interviews with Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., journalists on the frontlines as well as those exiled, a Ukrainian policewoman and medic, and the president of the Council of Europe, which this week expelled Russia for its aggression against Ukraine. Two VOA Russian viral videos -- this week's Context explaining the meaning of the letters "Z" and "V" seen in Russia as symbols for the war, and an interview with an American volunteer, who plans to go and defend Ukraine’s freedom and independence -- each garnered more than one million views on social media.

EAP Services’ Coverage of War in Ukraine Boosts Site Traffic

EAP language services’ fact-based, up-to-the-minute and comprehensive reporting on the Ukraine conflict continued to pull in large social media numbers. VOA Mandarin’s updates on the war garnered 474,000 views, while coverage of President Biden’s two-hour video call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping generated 46,000 page views within hours. Reporting included analyses on whether Beijing will heed Washington’s warning not to provide material support to Russia. In addition, VOA Indonesian’s original story of an Indonesian woman who escaped with her child, while her Ukrainian husband stayed behind to fight, received 824K views on Facebook.

VOA Urdu's Coverage of President Zelenskyy’s Address to Congress Generated More Than Half Million Views

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the U.S. Congress, pleading for greater sanctions on Russia and more military aid, VOA Urdu live streamed and live tweeted the speech, leading the coverage of the latest developments surrounding the war in Ukraine. The video containing the highlights of Zelenskyy’s speech generated 646,000 views and 8,200 reactions on Facebook. Additionally, a live blog featuring the latest news regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as international reactions, continues to draw significant attention from the audience seeking more information about the conflict.

Ukraine Crisis Coverage Piques Africa Affiliates’ Interest

On site reporting at the Poland-Ukraine border, as well as overall coverage of the crisis, has increased interest among a number of African affiliates. In Poland, VOA Africa’s Mary Mgawe and Karina Choudhury spoke to African immigrants who crossed over from Ukraine. Their stories featured many African and Ukrainian migrants, including a refugee whose Ghanaian husband remained in Ukraine to participate in the war effort. Mgawe debriefed VOA affiliates in Tanzania and Kenya, including Azam TV, Global TV Online, and KUTV and delivered live shots in English and Swahili.

Ukrainian and Russian Diaspora Coverage Keeps Audience Engaged

Russians and Ukrainians took root eight decades ago in the heart of Catia, a popular area of Caracas. In Costa Rica, descendants of Ukrainians organize to spread their historical reality. California is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations that is sending medical supplies to help those affected by the war in Ukraine. At the U.S. southern border, Ukrainians and Russians fleeing the European conflict continue to arrive in Tijuana seeking asylum. These VOA Spanish stories received more than 940K views in Spanish digital platforms contributing to a 132% digital audience increase since the beginning of the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

The War in Ukraine Has Been a Global Story for VOA

The worldwide impact of the war in Ukraine has prompted a flood of content to the News Center from every division. Eurasia bridge editor Anna Rice and News Center coordinator Kevin Enochs have processed at least seven TV reports a week, mainly from the Ukrainian and Russian services, including packages from Serhiy Lysenko in Kyiv. Latam’s Cristina Smit has versioned packages from Celia Mendoza in Poland, while Bezhan Hamdard has handled TV and web on the status of Afghan refugees in Ukraine. The Mandarin service has closely followed China’s response while African services have addressed the economic impact there.

Audience Engagement Remains High as VOA Persian Continues Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis

VOA Persian's continuous coverage of Ukraine's fight against Russia's aggression and of the U.S.-led international effort to assist Ukraine, included coverage of President Zelenskyy’s address to the U.S. Congress with post-show analysis and an one-hour special program on Ukraine and Russia, which aired with a lineup of seven experts, including Oleksiy Honcharuk, former Prime Minister of Ukraine. VOA’s Ramin Haghjoo sent daily updates from the Ukraine-Poland border and interviewed an Iranian asylum seeker. Audience interest on Ukraine-related special programming remained high, with a reach of more than 1.77 million on digital platforms.

OA Programming Highlights are compiled based on information available from multiple sources at the time of posting. This information constantly evolves. If you intend to cite to information posted in VOA Highlights, please consult VOA Public Relations at to ensure it is accurate and current.