Richmond Amateur Radio Club

June Meeting – RARC Presents Russian Ham Radio That Changed the World!

Guests Speakers Edward Kritsky, NT2X – RV7AA and Phil Lorito, WB2DHY – RV3/WB2DHY

Russia is in the news an awful lot these days. Perhaps this is a good time, maybe the best time, to tell the story of American/Russian ham radio history and relationships. That narrative can’t be told without its center being Ed Kritsky, NT2X – RV7AA. Edward immigrated to the United States in 1979 with his mother and younger brother. Leaving his home, friends and other family members in St. Petersburg, he carried his dreams and love for ham radio to America. Renouncing himself as a Russian national, he took great pride in his new American citizenship. For Ed, America is his home and his country. Russia was a nest he left over 39 years ago. He continued to do what he loved, staying in touch with Russian ham friends of his younger days, getting involved in all sorts of ham radio projects world wide involving DX-peditions, travel, ham equipment, the dissemination of information via ham radio which was incredibly vital at a time before the internet, lending a helping hand in emergency situations and other humanitarian assistance when needed. His home was fondly known as “Hotel NT2X” as Ed welcomed many ham visitors from foreign lands. Ed’s presence on the bands in the 1990’s made him truly a great American ambassador of good will, promoting understanding and friendship between our Russian ham radio counterparts and us. Edward continues his mission with a unique presentation at RARC. It’s not about operating ham radio or working DX, but about how ham radio impacted lives and world history in life or death situations.

Phil, WB2DHY – RV3/WB2DHY was able to make a number of trips to Russia with Ed immediately after the collapse and fall of the Communist regime, as well as a solo trip hosted by Andy Chesnokov, UA3AB. What started out as a search for business opportunities in Russia turned into one of the most profound experiences of his life. Meeting many Russians citizens, both hams and non-hams and living constantly in Russian homes, learning about the Russian people, their emotions, pride, culture and years of historical suffering, he was amazed by their very American-like sense of humor and their sincere affection and admiration for Americans and America. In Russian homes, after dinner, the table was cleared and hours upon hours of conversation took place between Phil and many ordinary Russian citizens. Phil traveled throughout European Russia as a guest and was shown historical locations that, to our knowledge, no other Americans at that time had ever seen. His stories are touching, enlightening, informative and ones you will long remember.

See these attachments:

“Ed the Red Hams It Up”

“Soviet Hams Rally Against Coup”, a condensed version of this article was published in November 1991 issue of QST magazine.