Created: 9/1/1969

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Intelligence Report

Rad/abroad'tasting andJamming Trends in Eastern Eutype and the USSR



Copy No.


CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence9


Radiobroadcasting and Jamming Trends in Eastern Europe and" tho USSR


Expansion of radiobroadcasting has enjoyed high priority in postwar Eastern Europe and the USSR, in part because of its valueymbol of improving consumer welfare, but principally because the authorities in these countries regard radio as one of their most effective instruments of propaganda. Radiobroadcasting stations have proliferated rapidly, and now almostillion radio sets are in use. Efforts by Communist authorities to control what is heard on these radios, however, have still notfrom the scene, especially in times ofstress. Thus the occupation ofby Warsaw Pact forces was accompanied by resumption of large-scale jamming of Westernan effort that is still continuing. This report examines current radiobroadcasting trends in Eastern Europe and the USSR, and assesses the recent upsurge of anti-Western jamming.

/ota; This report vas produced solely by CIA. Itbu th* Office of Economic Research



Radiobroadcasting Network

present the Eastell-developed networkstations operatingfrequencies, an increasesee Most ofs accounted for by an increase ofin the number of shortwave (SW)and an increase of more thanercent inof frequencies used bystations. Use of medium-wave (MW) only slightly in this period and frequency usage showed no increase. EastPoland, and Czechoslovakia registeredgainsespectively,number of frequencies used. All but one of the

ew frequencies added by East Germany are in the SW band.

The Soviet Union is now broadcastingrequencies, more than twice the number used by all of the East European countries combined. Of this total,rerere SW,re FM frequencies. Although nearlyercent of the frequencies used by the USSR are in the SW band, MW frequency usage registered the largest relative increase ineriod. Recentsuggests that ins the Soviet Union will give progressively heavier emphasis to FM

The growth recorded in frequency usagethat the number of radiobroadcastingalso has increased substantially. ne-for-one relationship between frequency usage andcannot be assumed, however,ivenmay operate on different frequencies attimes.

Radio Reception Base

the end8 the radio receptionthe East European Communist countriesaboutillion radio sets and about 4loudspeakers, as shown in Table 2. Forthiset addition of almostunits since the end All of thecountries experienced increases, Romania


registering the largest,ainets, and Poland the smallest, with an increase of0 sets. Probably owing to the influence of television, the growth rate of radio sets in Eastern Europe has declined in recentrend that i3 likely to continue intos. .

the same three-year period, thetotal of wired loudspeakers in thecountries declined0 units. Czechoslovakia, and Romaniagains, but Hungary has virtuallyits wired broadcasting system and the numberloudspeakers in Poland continued athat has been evident Eastdocs notired broadcasting system.

Tha total number of wired loudspeakers in Eastern

Europe is expected toarginal increase

the USSR there were slightly moremillion radio sets andillion wiredin use by the end Thissubstantial gainhen thewareillion andillion units, Of theepublics in the USSR, theby far tho greatest number of radios,illion sets, followed by thoillion sots (see In setthe top ranking republicsets per hundred persons, and Latvia,compared with2 radios for everypersons in the vast RSFSR.

7. The USSR now has more than twice as many radios as all of Eastern Europe, but is Atillby Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Hungary in radio set density, as shown in Table 4. East Germany occupies first position7 radios for every hundred persons compared with6 per hundred for the USSR. The Soviet Union, however, is gradually closing this gap and is expected to add at leastillion sets in useompared with an estimated increase of slightly moreets for all of Eastern Europe.

Types of Receivers

here are no data that would permit adistribution, by wavebands, of the radio rmcavii

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in use in the Soviet Union and the East European Communist countries. road sampling of radio model brochures from the various countries does provide some insight on this question, otal samplerochures examined, only seven models (or lessercent) are limited to single-band reception, whileodels (or slightly more thanercent) can receive on all bandsLW, MW, SW, and FM. resents the number of models examined for each country and the bands on which these models are equipped to operate. The table sheds some interesting light on the types of radios produced in Eastern Europe and the USSR, but it would be hazardous to use the sample weights shown toirect distribution of sets in use by type.

9. The supply of solid state components is not yet sufficient to meet consumer demand in Eastern Europe and the USSR, but the number of transistorized radio set models has shown steady growth year by year. Many of the transistorized models are of the "portable" class, but relatively few of the -pocket" types are in factory-scale production. Many pocket-sized transistor radios have been designed andbut most of them have to be builtdo-it-yourself" basis, in general, the pocket radios are designed for one-band operation, but almost all of the transistorized portables are capable of MW and SW reception and manyhird LW band.


10. Increasing steadily after the war, the effort of the USSR and East European Communist countries to block out Western radiobroadcastseak in By this time they were operating

* This discussion is concerned only with jamming directed against US-sponsored broadcast agencies which specifically target their programs at audiences in Eastern Europe and the USSR, These agencies and their target areas are: Voice of America he USSR; Radio Liberty Networkhe USSR; Radio Free Europe (RFE), Eastern Europe, except Bast Germany; and Radio in the American Sector of Berlinast Germany.

a massive radio jamming system, estimatedamming transmitters located at several hundred sites. High-powered,ammers were used to blanket primarily rural areas, and low-powered local jammers were sot up in and around most of the larger cities to provide urban coverage. Debriefing of emigres and Westernindicated that this effort was successful in blocking out reception in many parts of large cities but much less effective in the rural areas. used consisted of both noise jamming byspecially designed for this purpose and the superimpositlon of disruptive voice and musicon the target frequencies.

the summerammingon all VOA broadcasts in Russian,Georgian, Estonian, Latvian,Polish. Byomania and Hungaryjamming of VOA and RFE, andabandoned its effort against VOA. However,did not let up on Radio Liberty;jamming RFE as did East Germany against

Hias; and Bulgaria made no reduction at all in its jamming effort.

Coincident with the occupation ofinhe USSRajor jamming effort against radiobroadcasts targeted at its westorn republics and Eastern Europe. Except for the fact that English-language broadcasts and broadcasts to the Soviet Far East are not jammed, the Soviet jamming effort is not selective; all Western broadcasters are uniformly subject to this harassment, as are their entire program schedules, including music.

Since the springovietOA Russian- and Ukrainian-language broadcasts hasharp upward trend and currently isevel at least equal to the previous peak. VOA broadcasts in Georgian and Armenian are also being heavily jammed Against VOA, the USSR is using what is called Mayak jammingthat is, attempting to override frequencies with superimposed Moscow home service broadcasts. Against Radio Liberty Network, however, Soviot jammers are beaming noise.

14. The aggregate level of jamming against US broadcasts in East European languages is currently much higher than before the occupation of but the situation varies from country to country. Bulgaria, aided by the Soviet Union, has consistentlyigh level of jamming against RFE irrespective ofullby the other Communist countries. RPE's broadcasts to Czechoslovakia are also heavily jammed now, while those to Poland are jammedesser degree.* East Germany continues to jam RIASoderate level of intensity. Romanian and Hungarian language broadcasts, however, are not currently being jammed. Those East Europeantargeting RFE areomposite of both Mayak-type and noise jamming. Preliminaryindicate that, as before, the Communist jammin effort appears to be relatively effective in those sections of large cities where jammers are densely deployed but much less so in the countryside because of changing propagation conditions and jammerfading.



in Eastern Europe. Thus far, expansion of PMin the USSR has been much less rapidEastern Europe but probably will have highins. With East Germany and Poland the way, growth of SW transmissionin Eastern Europe and the USSR is alsoto receive heavy emphasis. Comparedeffort in FM and SW, Eastern Europe appearsa low priority to further expansion of Conversely, MW broadcasting inis continuing to increase rapidly. Inovercrowding of tho MW band is leadinginterest in the expansion of LW

16. The increased influence of television iseneral slowdown in the rate of growth of radio sets in Eastern Europe and the USSR. This

* There is some evidence to indicate that thecurrently targeted against RFE's Polish-language broadcasts originates in the western border area of the USSR rather than in Poland.

trend is more pronounced in the East Europeanthan in the Soviet Union, where the number of radio sets in use is still increasing by moreillion units per year. Following the Western pattern, radios with an FM band areincreasingly popular,teadily growing share of radio sets sold consists of transistorized models. The importance of wired loudspeakers is tending to decline in Eastern Europe, but the wired loudspeaker system in the USSR is still undergoing rapid expansion.

17. The occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forcos triggered resumptionarge-scale jamming effort against Western broadcastsive-year lull. The new Communist jamming pattern is not uniform, however, varying according to the country targeted by Western broadcasters, theof the broadcaster, and languages used. At one extreme, Romania and Hungary have not resumed jamming. At the other, Soviet jamming of Russian-and Ukrainian-language broadcasts is now probably at an all-time high. Thus far, however, the USSR has not elected to resume jamming ofbroadcasts, perhaps because they areto be much less sensitive but also possibly because of current limitations on Soviet jamming resources.


Table 1

Distribution of Radiobroadcasting Frequency Usage in Eastern Europe and the USSR, by Waveband

Number of LW Number of KW Number of SW Number of FM






Table 2

Number of Radio Sets and Wired Loudspeakers in Use in Eastern Europe and the USSR

Thousand Units









Table 3

Number and Density of Radio Sets in the USSR, by Republic

Units per















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Table 4

Radio Set Density in Eastern Europe and the USSR

Joo Persons





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