RSF Officially Launches Svoboda Satellite Package to Provide Independent Journalism to Russian-Speaking Populations

On 5 March, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) officially launched the Svoboda Satellite Package, a pioneering initiative. Nine Russian-speaking TV and radio channels are now broadcast on Eutelsat’s popular Hotbird satellite at 13E to territories including Russia, occupied territories of Ukraine and Baltic countries. It proves that democracies can export independent journalism, to reverse the logic of propaganda.


The launch event of the Svoboda Satellite Package took place in Brussels on 5 March at the European Parliament, hosted by member of the European Parliament Andrus Ansip, with the participation of Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission, and in the presence of Russian civil society representatives and European members of Parliament. The RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire and project director Jim Phillipoff officially announced that the package is live and unencrypted.

Named after the Russian word for "freedom," the Svoboda Satellite Package is a comprehensive broadcasting solution designed to bring reliable news sources to regions and populations fed by disinformation and propaganda. The package is accessible to 4.5 million households within the Federation of Russia and approximately 800 thousand in occupied Ukraine. All of these households currently watch television from this satellite position and do not require any additional equipment to view the new channels.

The first offer of the Svoboda Satellite Package includes a diverse array of content providers such as Echo, Radio Sakharov, Current Time, Euroradio, TV8, Ost/West 24, as well as other composite channels featuring Dimitry Gordon, Irina Shikhman, IStories, Holod Media, Novaya Gazeta Europe, and more. Additional content providers will be added in the coming months as well as a new composite channel dedicated to news. The satellite package will consist of up to 25 independent Russian language radio and television channels.

“In a context of a shrinking digital space in the Federation of Russia, the Svoboda Satellite Package is a testament to our unwavering commitment to the right to access journalism and an effort to build upon the resilience of the Russian journalism community in exile. Russian independent media are still read, viewed or heard by 6 to 9% of the adult population, we need to increase their reach. RSF is determined to empower Russian-speaking populations with the tools they need to preserve freedom of opinion. We prove that democracies can export independent journalism, to reverse the logic of propaganda, which is exported by despotic regimes. Instead, we allow independent journalism to be exported from democratic countries toward populations under despotic control.

Christophe Deloire
Secretary-General of RSF

Using the capacities of the latest of the Eutelsat fleet, Hotbird 13, the package, which has been tested since 12 February, will widely be available free to air. Leveraging advanced satellite technology, it guarantees secure and reliable transmission of news content. RSF calls on funders to support the Svoboda Satellite Package as a crucial step toward strengthening the free flow of information in Russia, Belarus and occupied territories of Ukraine.

The channels are currently available to 61 million households across Europe and Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Sergey (last name withheld for security), a Moscow resident, is currently viewing the package. He informed us as follows: "When I learned about the Svoboda Satellite package, I felt grateful to know that such a project exists. I can easily access these new channels on my dish. Thanks to it, we, citizens, can have access to more free, independent, and pluralistic information and thus create our own opinion.”

"Independent media and journalists are in the frontline in the current information warfare. We need to use all possible means to ensure that their work, that facts and information can reach Russian-speaking people. The Svoboda Satellite Package is part of these efforts. Supporting media freedom and fighting disinformation are two sides of the same coin.They are both necessary to defend democratic values.

Vera Jourova
Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission

Managed by RSF, the project builds upon the work of the Denis Diderot Committee. The main goal of the committee was to contribute to the restoration of the free flow of information, without war propaganda, between Europe and Russia with a view to providing support to Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian civil societies. Jim Phillipoff has taken on the role of Project Director. The project’s development and management benefits from the input of the ethics committee, composed of civil society figures advising on the strategy of the project, and the content committee, gathering media executives providing their video and audio content. 


"The Diderot Committee launched the idea of a bouquet of independent channels as soon as March 2022. We thank RSF and Eutelsat Group for making this project possible on the Hotbird 13G. We consider that the broadcast of the Svoboda bouquet from the 36°E position must remain the objective.

André Lange
Co-Founder of the The Denis Diderot Committee

Technical Parameters for reception:

  • Satellite: Hotbird 13G at 13.0E
  • Transponder: tp 122
  • Frequency: 10949 MHz
  • Polarization: Vertical
  • Symbol rate: 27500 Ksym/s
  • FEC: 2/3
  • Modulation: DVB-S2/8PSK


For further information, please contact Jim Philipoff : [email protected]

Press contacts:

Zoe Boissel : [email protected] +33 7 83 62 74 59

Elena Garcia : [email protected] +33 7 82 50 07 82

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