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Bringing to Light an Invisible Listener: Western Radio Audience in the Soviet Baltic States
Western radio broadcasts were an effective policy tool during the Cold War. Radio broadcasting operations, aimed at reaching captive societies behind the Iron Curtain, were entrusted the mission of encouraging resistance to the firmly entrenched communist regimes by providing them with alternative information. The analysis of the processes that took place in Baltic societies reveals that Western radio broadcasts, especially when delivered in the native languages, succeeded in encouraging passive resistance, distrust of the Soviet regime, and led to questioning it’s achievements and legitimacy. Analysis and understanding of the Soviet audiences of foreign radio in Baltic States provides new insights into the development of a Soviet society, its relationship with the regime and the potential influence of external forces on internal development.
Inga Zaksauskiene is assistant professor at the Faculty of History, University of Vilnius. Her scholarly interests are: U.S.-Lithuanian diplomatic relations during the Cold War; the media system in the United States and radio broadcasting to the Soviet Baltic States; U.S. policy towards the Baltic countries; audience of Western radio broadcasts; KGB activities in suppressing Western broadcasts to Baltic States. She has also published a book on Soviet army relations with local authorities during the Cold War.