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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: August 4, 2022

VOA Russian Sheds Light on Forcible Disappearances of Ukrainian Civilians

VOA Russian premiered a four-part series shedding light on forcible disappearances of Ukrainian civilians detained by Russian forces and illegally transferred to territories controlled by Russia. Ukrainians from Kherson, Bucha and Mariupol shared their stories of loved ones being taken and abused in Russian detention. The UN and human rights activists, who were interviewed for the series, documented hundreds of cases of Ukrainians held as hostages and tortured. Whereabouts of many are unknown. The series has garnered more than 250K views on VOA Russian Facebook page. It aired on Current Time Channel and was versioned in Ukrainian and English. A 30-minute documentary based on the series is available on VOA Russian digital and OTT platforms.

VOA Provides Fresh Perspectives Ahead of Speaker Pelosi's Visit to Taiwan

VOA Mandarin’s reporting from Washington to Taipei – including updates , interviews and analysis - drew substantial audience interest. The service's exclusive interview with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is the last House Speaker to visit Taiwan 25 years ago, quickly generated nearly 550,000 views online. He told VOA canceling the trip would be a sign of weakness. Despite Beijing’s threats of serious consequences, Gingrich said the visit would be an irritant, as opposed to a confrontational scenario if Washington were to open a full-fledged embassy in Taipei.

VOA's Reporting Results in Order to Police to Change Policies in Cameroon

Cameroon stringer Moki Edwin Kindzeka, whose unsparing coverage of official shortcomings has repeatedly gotten him in hot water with that country’s authorities, reports that Cameroon’s National Human Rights Commission has congratulated him for a VOA report on blind people being molested by the police. He says the commission has issued a report ordering the police to stop maltreating the blind and other handicapped people.

Interviews with Ethiopian Marathon Winner and Mother Strongly Resonate with Audience

VOA visited the hometown of Goyteytom Gebreselassie, gold medal winner of the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, to speak to her mother, who followed her daughter’s win on TV. This VOA Amharic interview posted on Facebook has generated more than 537k views, nearly 157k engagements, more than 28k reactions, and 777 comments. A separate interview with Goyteytom, who said seeing her mother on VOA was an extremely happy moment, has generated more than 931k views, more than 341k engagements, more than 47k reactions, and 1.2k comments. Goyteytom told VOA that due to communications blackout in Tigray, she has not spoken to her mother for seven months.

VOA Afghan Conducts Exclusive Interview with Former U.S. Commander in Afghanistan

Retired General David Petraeus discussed with VOA Afghan's Zheela Nouri prospects of U.S. policy toward the Taliban. “...There are reasons why we're going to have some kind of relationship - that we are going to have to deal with the regime that controls the country and forms the government in Kabul. And as part of that, [it] is at least conceivable that you could see some unfreezing of assets,” Petraeus told VOA. The interview generated nearly 90K views and 5.5K reactions on VOA Dari Facebook page.

VOA Persian's TV Special on President Biden’s Middle East Trip Engages the Audience

VOA Persian aired a TV Special program titled: “From Jerusalem to Jeddah: Tehran’s Isolation and Ambition.” Siamak Dehghanpour and Rozita Irandoost offered an in-depth look of President Biden’s recent trip to the Middle East, featuring note-worthy interviews with officials such as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Thomas Nides, Deputy Director General for Public Diplomacy at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nakhshon, Israeli Knesset member for the Blue and White party, Ruth Wasserman Lande, and James Smith, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The total audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 1,606,780.

VOA Spanish Coverage of Press Freedom Issues in Nicaragua, Resonates with the Audience

Persecution and fear of being jailed as part of President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on government opponents, as well as attacks on the country’s independent media, led the entire “La Prensa” newsroom to flee Nicaragua. “There is no similar case registered in our history,” stated Pedro Vaca, press rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. The staff plans to continue publishing a digital version of the paper from exile. VOA Spanish coverage of this story generated more than 43K views across digital platforms.

VOA 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.