Radio

There’s an opening for a special kind of radio DJ in Ukraine (and now metal music is being used to fight Russian troops)

One of Robin Williams’ most memorable roles was that of Adrian Cronauer, an Armed Forces Radio DJ who entertained American troops in Vietnam back in the 60s. Good Morning Vietnam (1987) remains a fun film.

A job opening for a similar type of personality is now available in Ukraine.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Army FM, a radio station that’s been set up for Ukrainian soldiers, is looking for its own Robin Williams-type personality. Alexey Makukhin, 35, a former TV sitcom producer, is working as an advisor for the Ukrainian military, is taking applications. Unfortunately, the 50-some applicants so far aren’t up to snuff, so the job is still open.

I quote: “A lot of candidates just do not fit to the role of presenter—poor voice, cannot keep up a discussion or stop themselves. “Some candidates have a fixed mind-set and are not ready to work in our format of entertaining and friendly radio.”

The successful applicant(s) will be well-versed in the favourite genres of Ukrainian soliders: metal, hard rock, and rap.

Army FM studios and transmitters are being set up around the country, including one just 36 miles from the rebel area of Donestk. Some US$200,000 has come from a nonprofit called Spirit of America. They don’t touch the programming–that’s in the hands of locals–but they will offer whatever technical assistance they can. Ownership of the stations remain in the hands of the Defense Ministry.

The first Army FM broadcast happened back on March 1. The first words? “Goooooooooooooood morning Ukraine!”

Here’s a quote from a recent morning:

“Eight a.m. in Kiev. Soldiers, wake up! Morning infotainment show starts its second part, and I, Philip Boiko, greet all the listeners of Army FM. Especially our heroes in the military zone who diligently fight with separatist and occupying bastards, protecting their motherland.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainians have discovered the radio frequencies Russian troops are using to communicate. Not only are they eavesdropping on all their plans and movements (Russia’s command-and-control is already a disaster) but they’re spamming the frequencies with metal music.

I quote from The Economist:

“It is not just what the Russians are saying that can compromise them. Older radios can be tracked using radio-direction finding—such as triangulating the source of a transmission from two receivers—and insecure radio may be jammed. There are reports of frequencies used by Russian forces being bombarded with heavy-metal music or other transmissions from Ukrainian operators, sometimes during combat.”

Metal to the rescue. Again.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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