|Ivan UR8GX (SK)|
At that time, the world was gearing up for the Olympics - the games garnered much more attention back then than they do now. The 1980 Olympics took place in Moscow.
The ham in Michgan was lamenting the fact that the US and many other countries would not be participating due to the USSR's recent invasion of Afghanistan.
What made the QSO memorable was the fact that the Russian ham did not know that his country was at war. Tass, Izvestia and Pravda did their bit to keep Soviet citizens mis- or uninformed to an extent that citizens of western countries could not (then) imagine.
The QSO was emotional and met with denial - I'll never forget it. It was a lesson to me of how much control can be exerted against an entire country, with the population not even being aware of it, at least to any significant extent.
Much criticism arose from people saying that sports and politics should be separate with each uninfluenced by the other. But Jimmy Carter (D) - up until a year ago, the worst president the US has ever had - convinced a total of more than 60 countries to boycott the Olympics.Meanwhile:
Fred AA7BQ has received criticism for his temporary decision to remove Russian callsigns from his QRZ.com database in response to Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
Unfortunately, he reversed his decision after a few hours.
The RSGB issued a statement three days ago that "Russian and Belarusian radio amateurs are currently ineligible to participate in any event that is organised/sponsored by the RSGB."
Netflix and other media platforms have enacted similar measures.
Many say that ham radio and politics should be independent of each other and that the hobby should continue to "enhance international goodwill". But war is not politics.
RIP, Ivan UR8GX.