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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Releases

BBC Russian broadcasts from HMS Belfast

A live broadcast from the Second World War battleship HMS Belfast, moored on the River Thames in central London, will be the highlight of the BBC Russian multimedia programming on Sunday 9 May – the day when Russia and a number of other post-Soviet states celebrate USSR's victory over Nazi Germany.

With the story of the Arctic Convoys at the core of its multimedia narrative throughout the day, BBC Russian will explore the alliance between the West and the Soviet Union during the Second World War – as well as changes in the way in which the war is viewed in both countries, 65 years on – and the cultural and human dimensions of the war.

BBC Russian live weekend news and current affairs programme Pyatiy Etazh (Fifth Floor), will broadcast from onboard HMS Belfast – now moored on the Thames.

The boat will be hosting a special commemoration on Sunday 9 May.

The programme will feature Second World War historian Boris Sokolov, HMS Belfast director Brad King and, from Russia, 84-year-old Gordon Long, who is travelling to St Petersburg, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk leading a group of 18 US and UK Arctic Convoy veterans.

Pyatiy Etazh presenter Mikhail Smotryaev says: "The story of the Arctic Convoys is a compelling one of cooperation between many nations to achieve victory.

"We wanted to bring it to life for the audience with real stories of those who lived through the period, and HMS Belfast, with its history as a convoy protection ship, is a great place to do this from."

BBC Russian's cultural commentator, Alexander Kan, will be looking at portrayals of the war in Russian/Soviet and British film, while author and broadcaster Zinovy Zinik, on location by the White Cliffs of Dover, will be offering his view of British war spirit, and how this was portrayed in war songs.

Special online content on includes video reports as well as BBC Russian's Artem Krechetnikov's analysis of the role of the Arctic Convoys in both the war effort and the outcome of the Second World War.

The website's user-generated content includes personal memories of the war, family stories and a picture gallery of photos from family albums.

Head of BBC Russian, Sarah Gibson, comments: "Victory Day is a unique day in Russia – it brings together politicians and ordinary people from across the political spectrum to remember the tremendous sacrifice made by people in the former USSR to bring the war to an end.

"The international aspect of this is an important one and, throughout our coverage, we will focus on the amazing human stories, connecting lives and nations – and making history."

Notes to Editors

BBC Russian is a multimedia broadcaster offering radio, online and mobile content to Russian-speaking audiences, with up-to-the-minute news, features and analysis.

BBC Russian radio programmes are streamed online via and are broadcast on shortwave, on medium wave in Moscow (1260 MW), St Petersburg (1260 MW) and Yekaterinburg (666 MW).

They are also available direct to home via the Hotbird 2 satellite. The 24/7 website,, offers news and information in text, audio and video, while the latest headlines and video news bulletins are available for download on mobile phones via

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 188 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels.

Its news sites, which received 4.7 million weekly visitors in September 2009, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate.

It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices.

For more information, visit

For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide at

BBC World Service International Publicity

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