Soviet Information Bureau

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The final Sovinformburo operational summary, 15 May 1945 RIAN archive 409373 Sovinformburo last war report.jpg
The final Sovinformburo operational summary, 15 May 1945

Soviet Information Bureau' (Russian : Советское информационное бюро [Sovetskoye informatsionnoye byuro], commonly known as Sovinformburo [Совинформбюро]) was a leading Soviet news agency, operating from 1941 to 1961.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, over two decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.

News agency organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations

A news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and radio and television broadcasters. A news agency may also be referred to as a wire service, newswire, or news service.



From the Soviet Information Bureau by Yuri Levitan, announcing the capture of Drezden, 8 May 1945
Operational summary of 30 March 1945, announcing the route of Army Group Danzig by the 2nd Belorussian Front.

Sovinformburo was established on June 24, 1941, shortly after the opening of the Eastern Front of World War II by a directive of Sovnarkom and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union "to bring into the limelight international events, military developments, and day-to-day life through printed and broadcast media." [1]

Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the executive leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, acting between sessions of Congress. According to own party statutes, the committee directed all party and governmental activities. Its members were elected by the Party Congress.

During the war, Sovinformburo directed the activity of the All-Slavonic Committee, Anti-Fascist Committee of Soviet Women, Anti-Fascist Committee of the Soviet Youth, Anti-Fascist Committee of Soviet Scientists and the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC). In 1944, a special bureau on propaganda for foreign countries was set up as part of Sovinformburo. [2] In 1961 Sovinformburo was transformed into Novosti Press Agency which was succeeded by RIA Novosti and, in 2013, International Information Agency Russia Today.

The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was organized by the Jewish Bund leaders Henryk Erlich and Victor Alter, upon an initiative of Soviet authorities, in fall 1941; both were released from prison in connection with their participation. Following their re-arrest, in December 1941, the Committee was reformed on Joseph Stalin's order in Kuibyshev in April 1942 with the official support of the Soviet authorities. It was designed to influence international public opinion and organize political and material support for the Soviet fight against Nazi Germany, particularly from the West. In 1952, as part of the persecution of Jews in the last year part of Stalin's rule, most prominent members of the JAC were arrested on trumped-up spying charges, tortured, tried in secret proceedings, and executed in the basement of Lubyanka Prison. Stalin and elements of the KGB were worried about their influence and connections with the West. They were officially rehabilitated in 1988.

RIA Novosti Russian state-operated domestic (and former international) news agency

RIA Novosti, sometimes RIA for short, was Russia's international news agency until 2013 and continues to be the name of a state-operated domestic Russian-language news agency. Operating under the purview of the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, RIA Novosti is headquartered in Moscow and operated about 80 bureaus internationally. On 9 December 2013 President of Russia Vladimir Putin ordered RIA Novosti's liquidation and the creation of a Russian international news agency Rossiya Segodnya. Dmitry Kiselev, an anchorman of the Russia-1 channel was appointed to be the first president of the new information agency. RIA Novosti was scheduled to be closed down in 2014; starting in March 2014, staff were informed that they had the option of transferring their contracts to Rossiya Segodnya or accepting voluntary redundancy. On 10 November 2014, Rossiya Segodnya launched the Sputnik multimedia platform as the international replacement of RIA Novosti and Voice of Russia. Within Russia itself, however, Rossiya Segodnya continues to operate its Russian language news service under the name RIA Novosti with its website.

The radio announcements were performed on Radio Moscow (known for its Wide is My Motherland beeping) by Yuri Levitan. While Radio Moscow always started its announcements with the words "Moscow is speaking" (Govorit Moskva), during the German aggression against the Soviet Union in World War II the broadcasting was conducting from Sverdlovsk (today Yekaterinburg) until 1943 when it was moved to Kuibyshev (today Samara) until 1945.

Radio Moscow

Radio Moscow, also known as Radio Moscow World Service, was the official international broadcasting station of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics until 1993. It was reorganized with a new name: Voice of Russia., which has also since been reorganized and renamed Radio Sputnik. At its peak, Radio Moscow broadcast in over 70 languages using transmitters in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Cuba.

"Wide is My Motherland", also known as "Song of the Motherland", is a famous patriotic song of Russia and the former Soviet Union. The music was composed by Isaac Dunaevsky and the words were written by Vasily Lebedev-Kumach. The song was first featured in the classic Soviet film "Circus" in 1936.

Yuri Levitan Soviet radio announcer

Yuri Borisovich Levitan was the primary Soviet radio announcer during and after World War II. He announced on Radio Moscow all major international events in the 1940s–60s including the German attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the surrender of Germany on 9 May 1945, the death of Joseph Stalin on 5 March 1953, and the first manned spaceflight on 12 April 1961.

The fall of Kiev was never announced by the Soviet Information Bureau.

Battle of Kiev (1941) battle resulting in a large encirclement of Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kiev during World War II

The First Battle of Kiev was the German name for the operation that resulted in a very large encirclement of Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kiev during World War II. This encirclement is considered the largest encirclement in the history of warfare. The operation ran from 7 August to 26 September 1941 as part of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. In Soviet military history, it is referred to as the Kiev Strategic Defensive Operation, with somewhat different dating of 7 July – 26 September 1941.

Radio announcers

See also

Censorship in the Soviet Union

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Propaganda in the Soviet Union

Communist propaganda in the Soviet Union was extensively based on the Marxist–Leninist ideology to promote the Communist Party line. In the Stalin era, it penetrated even social and natural sciences giving rise to various pseudo-scientific theories such as Lysenkoism, whereas fields of real knowledge, as genetics, cybernetics and comparative linguistics were condemned and forbidden as "bourgeois pseudoscience".

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