A sound engineer works during a broadcast at "Studio B" radio station in Belgrade, Serbia, April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Djordje Kojadinovic
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The 21st-floor offices of Studio B boast an unrivaled view of the Serbian capital, taking in Orthodox Church domes, a Gulf-financed development and a citadel built by Celtic, Roman, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian rulers.That's because four times a day, Studio B broadcasts back-to-back news bulletins in Serbian by the Russian news agency Sputnik, which is funded by the Kremlin, and Radio Free Europe, which is funded by the U.S. Congress.The station's programming mirrors the political balancing act being pursued by Serbian Prime Minister and President-elect Aleksandar Vucic in the nation of about 7 million people.Serbs are just as divided, with little under half supporting EU membership.The donations from Western countries dried up with Milosevic's fall in 2000, however, and the BBC closed its Serbian service in 2011 .Some Sputnik stories appeal to those Serbs suspicious of the West, NATO and Albanians – the largest ethnic group in Kosovo.
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