BBC Russian closes at weekend

The BBC Russian radio service will broadcast live for the final time in its 65-year history this Saturday evening.

It's part of cost-saving plans with the World Service which will also see broadcasts to Russia in English on short-wave and medium-wave end.

On Saturday, the BBC Russian live weekend programme, Pyatiy Etazh (Fifth Floor), broadcasts from the studio in London's Bush House for the last time. Airing at 18.30 GMT (21.30 Moscow time), the final programme signals the end of the BBC's 65-year history of traditional radio broadcasting in Russian.

The BBC is closing three of its Russian-language radio programmes – Ranniy Chas (Dawn), Utro na Bi-bi-si (Morning with the BBC) and Vecher na Bi-bi-si (Evening with the BBC). However, BBC Russian will continue to produce BBSeva, Vam Slovo and Pyatiy Etazh which will be available for listening via the website as well as for FM partners outside Russia.

In a week of special programming in the run-up to this milestone date, BBC Russian has been featuring special multimedia content, looking back at the radio journalism that has made the BBC a household name, from Vilnius to Vladivostok, and also looking at future shape of media.

Head of BBC Russian, Sarah Gibson, says: "This is a sad time for all of us at BBC Russian. We are also proud of the unique heritage our broadcasts have left behind – in the hearts and minds of millions of radio listeners. As we move on, we will continue to serve our audiences through online and mobile services. Our website will continue to bring global stories to the Russian audience, and put Russian stories in a global context."

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