I love the BBC - it is one of the things that makes Britain great. This amounts to a cultural diplomacy suicide, an error London will come to regret. Even if it is resumed in a few years, this interruption will destroy a good part of the accumulated skills and talent of the staff, which will not be easy to rebuild.
Radio broadcasts in China, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey will be axed, and shortwave broadcasts will cease in Hindi. The Persian and Arabic services will work much more closely together with all evening radio programmes axed from the BBC Arabic service. Overseas, the brunt of the cuts will be borne by the Arabic and Russian services, with the latter set to lose 45 posts, about half of its staff.