May 6th 2011
Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus Ministries (RUBM)
Russia is by far the world’s largest country, spreading across Eastern Europe and Northern Asia over a total of 9 time zones. The population of Russia today is estimated at around 142 million, and the 160 ethnic groups speak some 100 languages.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia. In 2007, the population of Ukraine was estimated at 46 million. The official language of the country is Ukrainian, and Russian is also widely used, especially in the cities.
Belarus is a landlocked republic in east Central Europe with a population of 9.5 million. Belarus became independent in 1992, though government restrictions on certain rights such as freedom of speech, the press, and religion continue. Political and economic growth remain slow.
The majority of residents in the RUBM region consider themselves Orthodox Christians, although most do not attend church regularly. In all three countries, however, nearly all known protestant denominations are present.
TWR has been preparing radio programs in the Russian language since 1958, and in the Ukrainian language since about 1962. Today there are two recording studios in Russia, two in Ukraine, and one in Belarus, where national coworkers produce programs to be transmitted from medium wave outlets in Estonia and Moldova, and a few very small local FM stations in Siberia.