Echo of Moscow, which still exists today, was the most important radio station of the post-Soviet 1990s. Founded in 1990, the Moscow-based broadcaster became famous during the August putsch of 1991 (see: GKChP press conference), when it was one of the few stations to publicly condemn the "Gang of Eight." By 1998, it was sold to Media-Most, a media conglomerate belonging to oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky, owner of NTV. In this television ad, which ran on the channel RTR — now Russia-1, the state propaganda channel — Echo of Moscow is represented as the outermost circle of one woman's gossip network. "When I want rumors, I call up my girlfriends," says the voiceover. "When I want gossip, I talk to my neighbors. But when I want reliable information—" and here she takes out her portable radio player— "I listen to Echo of Moscow."
Radio Svoboda [Liberty] on Yeltsin's Resignation, 31 December 1999
Established in 1951 as part of the CIA's multi-pronged anti-communist strategy, Radio Liberty aimed to give Soviet listeners access to uncensored news. Throughout the Cold War, it publicized anti-Soviet protests and other events that Soviet news ignored or misrepresented. During the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, Radio Liberty provided its information-starved audience with life-saving recommendations, even as broadcasters throughout the Eastern Bloc refused to report the event or offer advice. After the failure of the August 1991 putsch (see GKChP press conference), Yeltsin decreed that Radio Liberty would henceforth be allowed to operate on Russian territory. The broadcast featured here reports on the very last day of the Yeltsin era — 31 December 1999. On that day, Yeltsin resigned as president, handing the reins of power over to Vladimir Putin, then Prime Minister. In 2002, Putin annulled Yeltsin's August 1991 decree concerning Radio Liberty, which he classified as a "foreign organization."
Andrei Babitsky appears on tape, February 2000
In January 2000, just as Russia was resuming hostilities against the breakaway republic of Chechnya, longtime Radio Liberty journalist Andrei Babitsky (1964-) found himself in the unenviable position of publicly contradicting the Russian government. Official sources had just announced that no civilians remained in Grozny, the Chechen capital, at the onset of bombing; Babitsky, who was witnessing events as they unfolded on the ground, said otherwise. Shortly thereafter, he disappeared. Though Russian authorities denied knowledge of his whereabouts, it soon transpired that he had been detained by Russian troops at the Chechen border and transported to the Chernokozovo prison camp. On 28 January, the Russian government admitted that Babitsky had been arrested for covering Chechen events without the proper accreditation. By 3 February, it released the featured video (reproduced by AP), in which Babitsky vaguely claimed to be all right, and whose authenticity his friends and relatives immediately disputed. Later that month, after a series of harrowing misadventures, Babitsky returned to Moscow, only to be called a traitor by Vladimir Putin himself on the pages of the daily Kommersant. He has endured regular persecution since this episode, including an arrest in 2004. By 2014, he had fallen out with Radio Liberty over his support of Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Dugin on "Montmorency," (Echo of Moscow, 26 April 1998)
On 26 April 1998, the featured guest on musician and radio host Alexander Laertsky's "Montmorency" (then hosted on liberal radio station Echo of Moscow) was neo-Eurasianist/ fascist Alexander Dugin, whose views were only then crystallizing into the American-alt-right-friendly form they have assumed today. In the 1980s, Dugin had been an anti-communist dissident, but by the early 1990s he was actively participating in the revival of the Communist Party under Yeltsin challenger Gennady Zyuganov and proclaiming the arrival of "true" fascism on Russian soil. In this broadcast, Dugin answers questions from callers, chats with Laertsky, and generally projects an affable, polite image. In a testament to the concerns of the time, host and guest discuss the notion of "privatizing the swastika."