Ukraine maintains amateur radio silence in state of emergency
Radio amateurs in Ukraine appear to be diligently maintaining radio silence as the state of emergency declared just before the Russian military invasion remains in effect. A February 24 decree by President Volodymyr Zelensky provided for “a ban on the operation of amateur radio transmitters for personal and collective use”. The Ukrainian League of Radio Amateurs (UARL/LRU) reported last week that they received many messages of encouragement from the worldwide amateur radio community.
“The LRU informed the international amateur radio organizations about Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine,” reads the message from UARL Vice President Anatoly Kirilenko, UT3UY. “To date, there have been many reports from radio amateurs around the world in favor of Ukraine.”
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) took a neutral stance. “IARU is an apolitical organization focused on the promotion and defense of amateur radio and amateur radio services,” the IARU said. “Amateur radio service is about self-learning communication and friendship between people.” IARU Region 1 said it continues to monitor the development and expects all radio amateurs to “follow their national laws and regulations”.
IARU Region 1 has also reposted part of a advisory of the HF committee of the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) on February 27. “Any radio amateur currently broadcasting from Ukraine is risking his life. If you hear a Ukrainian station, do not broadcast its call sign, location or frequency, whether on the band, in a cluster or on social media. You may be putting lives at risk. DARC’s general advice: “In the current situation, the best we can do is listen.”
Amateur radio call sign prefixes assigned to Ukraine include EMA – EOZ and the more common URA – UZZ. Some stations with Ukrainian call signs may still be active, as an exception to the ban on amateur radio has been made for stations in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk), which have a special legal status due to Russian occupation since 2014.
In a facebook Publish, the Polish IARU member company, PZK, offered Winlink nodes available in Poland for all authorized refugees. If you are a licensed amateur radio operator, you can send information by e-mail to your relatives in Poland or to the emergency services via the winlink system. Polish Winlink nodes are active on 160, 80 and 20 meters: SR5WLK, 3.5955 MHz USB; SR3WLK, USB 14.111 MHz and SP3IEW, USB 1.865 MHz.
W9IMS, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club – known for its special events commemorating major races at the Speedway – released a statement about its Profile QRZ.com expressing concern for famed QSL maker Gennady V. Treus, UX5UO. The statement reads in part as follows: “His last email told us: ‘At the moment we are safe, but we hear loud explosions near Kyiv. I don’t know what will happen in the nearest hours/days.’ We haven’t heard from him for days. We are very concerned for Gennady and his family as well as for all other Ukrainian citizens. – Thanks to The daily DXPZK, and to Brian D. Smith, W9IND, for some information