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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: February 2, 2023

VOA’s Live Coverage of President Biden’s Speech on Tanks to Ukraine Dominates News Cycle in Ukraine

VOA’s live streaming with simultaneous translation of President Biden’s remarks on his decision to provide Ukraine with tanks dominated the news cycle in the region. VOA Ukrainian’s live stream of the speech was broadcast on Ukraine's National-TV-Marathon and picked up by 15 channels and 20+ Ukrainian news sites, garnering more than 327k views on social media in the last 6 days. Coverage featured comments by seven U.S. lawmakers and Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S., who said, “The provision of modern Western tanks will strengthen the rest of Ukraine’s capabilities." VOA Russian's live stream garnered half-a-million social media views in less than a week and featured expert discussion and an explainer on the potential impact of Western tanks on the battlefield.

VOA News Center Engages Audiences by Covering the Tanks for Ukraine Story

VOA News Center's in-depth coverage of the debate and final decision by the U.S., Germany and others to provide more battle tanks to Ukraine has attracted nearly 770k views on YouTube in the last 10 days. Coverage of the tanks debate on the “Flashpoint Ukraine” podcast accounted for more than 40% of the website streams. “Hundreds of thank you are not hundreds of tanks,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he appealed for support. Western leaders ultimately pledged to assist Ukraine with tanks to defend against an anticipated Russian offensive this spring. Ukraine coverage accounted for the top nine items with longest engagement this week on

VOA Afghan Coverage of International Day of Education Drives Significant Traffic to Social Media Platforms

VOA Afghan produced original content and live interviews in a one-hour joint Dari-Pashto special TV program on January 24 for the International Day of Education. Among the guests was Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai who commented on the plight of Afghan women under Taliban rule. “I have a message to all the people not to stay silent,” she told VOA. “Stand with the Afghan women!” The special landing pages launched on Dari and Pashto websites contained timelines, photo galleries, web articles and video packages generating more than 4 million aggregate views on Facebook in the last week.

VOA Burmese Q&A with Myanmar Spokesperson and U.S. Official's Response Engages the Audience

Ahead of the two-year mark of Myanmar’s military coup on February 1, VOA Burmese asked the ruling junta whether the country’s elections would be held in August as planned. In response, military spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun said it is uncertain, citing incomplete voter lists and a surge in opposition attacks across the country. U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet told VOA it’s unclear how elections can be held when opposition members are in jail. The reporting generated 308k Facebook views, with nearly 92k lively engagement actions in four days.

VOA Coverage on IS Leader’s Death in Somalia Cited by Multiple Outlets

A VOA Somali report on the Somali government’s reaction to IS group leader Bilal al-Sudani's death, who was killed by U.S. special operations forces in Somalia on January 25, has been cited by many outlets including BBC, Yahoo, All Africa, Saudi Gazette, Hiiraan Online, and Kurdistan24. The National Security Adviser for Somalia’s President told VOA the IS leader was a “dangerous terrorist” who posed a potential threat to Somalia and East Africa. VOA’s coverage shed light on the fight against terrorism and the collaboration between African countries and the U.S towards that goal.

VOA Persian’s Reporting on EU Efforts to Add IRGC to Terrorist List Attracts Significant Audience

VOA Persian’s extensive coverage of the European Union’s efforts to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp to the terrorist list with 15 interviews, 8 TV packages, and 2 special programs drew significant viewership in the last week. Siamak Dehghanpour’s special program featured interviews with Swedish Representative of the European Parliament, Evin Incir, and former Senior Political and Military Advisor at the U.S. Department of State Colonel Abbas Dahouk. In addition, Guita Arian reported on the latest U.S. and European sanctions, while correspondents in Brussels and Germany reported updates on steps taken. Total audience engagement on all digital platforms for this programming surpassed 3,742,600 during the last week.

Audience Engages with VOA Spanish Reporting on LatAm Being the Deadliest Region For Journalists

VOA Spanish’s continuous commitment to cover freedom of expression issues included the release of the CPJ annual report this week, highlighting the risks of covering corruption, organized crime and protests in Latin America, now deemed the most dangerous region in the world for journalists, where 30 were murdered in 2022, almost half of all journalists killed across the globe in the line of duty. Thirteen were in Mexico, where journalists continue to seek justice for murdered reporters Lourdes Maldonado and Margarito Martínez. This story generated more than 4.7k video views on Facebook and YouTube in the last week and was shared by Veneportal.

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.