BBC’s Russian-language service sees usage increase after Ukraine invasion

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The weekly audience for the BBC’s Russian-language news site more than tripled following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the broadcaster.

Its year-to-date weekly average hit a record reach of 10.7 million people last week, up from 3.1 million.

In English, visitors to bbc.com in Russia increased by 252% to 423,000 last week.

Audiences for the Ukrainian-language site have more than doubled since the start of the year, reaching 3.9 million last week, up from 1.7 million.

Audience of bbc.com has also increased by 154% in Ukraine.

The BBC said a total of 77.4 million unique visitors consumed its English-language online coverage in the first five days of the invasion.

BBC Director General Tim Davie said: “It is often said that the truth is the first casualty of war.

“In a conflict where disinformation and propaganda are rampant, there is a clear need for factual, independent information that people can trust – and in a significant development, millions more Russians are turning to the BBC.

“We will continue to give the Russian people access to the truth, however we can.”

The BBC has also launched two new shortwave frequencies in the region for four hours of world service English news a day, which can be received in Kyiv and parts of Russia.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb