Corey Flintoff

Corey Flintoff is NPR's international correspondent based in Moscow. His journalism career has taken him to more than 50 countries, most recently to cover the civil war in Libya, the revolution in Egypt and the war in Afghanistan.

After joining NPR in 1990, Flintoff worked for many years as a newscaster during All Things Considered. In 2005, he became part of the NPR team covering the Iraq War, where he embedded with U.S. military units fighting insurgents and hunting roadside bombs.

Flintoff's reporting from Iraq includes stories on sectarian killings, government corruption, the Christian refugee crisis and the destruction of Iraq's southern marshes. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti to report on the massive earthquake its aftermath. Two years before, he reported on his stint on a French warship chasing pirates off the coast of Somalia.

One of Flintoff's favorite side jobs at NPR is standing in for Carl Kasell during those rare times when the venerable scorekeeper takes a break from Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Before NPR, Flintoff served as the executive producer and host of Alaska News Nightly, a daily news magazine produced by the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage. His coverage of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was recognized with the 1989 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award.

In 1977, Flintoff got his start in public radio working at at KYUK-AM/TV, in Bethel, Alaska. KYUK is a bilingual English-Yup'ik Eskimo station and Flintoff learned just enough Yup'ik to announce the station identification. He wrote and produced a number of television documentaries about Alaskan life, including "They Never Asked Our Fathers" and "Eyes of the Spirit," which have aired on PBS and are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

He tried his hand at commercial herring fishing, dog-mushing, fiction writing and other pursuits, but failed to break out of the radio business.

Flintoff has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree from the University of Chicago, both in English literature. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Drexel University.

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The Salt
1:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Roshen is a premium brand but some say it tastes "less refined" than Western European chocolate.
Bodo Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:21 pm

In the political battle between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest pawns is chocolate.

That's because the current front-runner in Ukraine's presidential race is Petro Poroshenko, known as "the Chocolate King." His billion-dollar empire was founded on candy factories.

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News
4:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

In Both Moscow And Crimea, The Path Toward Union Made Easier

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Obama administration's announcement of sanctions comes as Crimea's parliament voted to unite with Russia. It's also called for a referendum on the issue in 10 days. At the same time, lawmakers in Russia began taking steps that could streamline the process of making Crimea a part of Russia.

NPR's Corey Flintoff joins us on the line from Moscow. And, Corey, how has this sanctions announcement from the U.S. been received there?

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Parallels
4:14 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

The History Of A Once And Future World-Class Resort

People watch the sunset Monday while standing under the Olympic rings hanging outside a train station in Sochi, Russia.
Jae C. Hong AP

President Vladimir Putin isn't the first Russian leader to try to create a world-class resort in Sochi. That story is told in one of Sochi's best attractions, an excellent city history museum.

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Europe
12:08 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Russia's Cossacks Ride Back From History As 'Patriots'

Cossacks, who formed a feared military force in czarist times, start their 2012 ceremonial march from Moscow to Paris in memory of soldiers killed during the war against Napoleon in 1812.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 5:17 pm

The contrast couldn't have been greater: the protest band Pussy Riot in colorful ski masks and mini dresses, attempting to film a segment for a new video on Sochi's waterfront; and Cossacks in traditional uniform with black sheepskin hats and riding boots, patrolling Sochi streets as part of security for the Olympics.

The Cossacks, trying to enforce a government ban on protests, knocked band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to the ground, lashed her with a horse whip, and roughed up other musicians.

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Europe
1:33 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator

A wax sculpture of Stalin sits behind the desk he used at the dacha. From the time he first began to visit the villa, Stalin was signing death warrants for his rivals — and living in fear of retribution.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:02 pm

Long before it became an Olympic host city, Sochi was a favorite getaway for one of history's most ruthless dictators: Josef Stalin.

The Soviet leader had a villa built in the hills overlooking the Black Sea, and he visited it during some of the most tumultuous years of his reign.

The villa, known as Stalin's dacha, or summer house, was built in 1934, and he used it until the end of World War II in 1945. No Soviet or Russian leader after Stalin is known to have visited it.

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The Edge
5:26 am
Sun February 16, 2014

'Sports Chaplains' Bring The Gospel To Olympic Village

International Sports Chaplain Myrna Gregory (right) uses a souvenir pin to tell a gospel story to a Russian volunteer at the Sochi Olympic Park.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 10:43 pm

There are probably fewer American fans in Sochi than at previous Winter Games, partly because of concerns about security, and partly because of the time and expense it takes to get to the Russian resort town on the Black Sea.

But Americans are represented there, with gusto, by a group of evangelical Christians who call themselves the International Sports Chaplains. Members of the group have been going to the Olympic Games since 1988.

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Europe
5:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Declare Corruption The Problem

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 7:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Europe
5:00 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

From Kiev To The Country At Large, Ukraine Protests May Spread

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
3:35 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Russians Fear A Sochi Legacy Of 'Black Widows,' Not Gold Medals

Shoppers at a department store in Sochi, Russia, pass an information banner with photos of suspected terrorists wanted by police. The color photo shows Ruzanna Ibragimova, the 22-year-old widow of an insurgent. Police say she has been spotted in recent days in central Sochi.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:51 pm

Two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Russian security forces are reportedly searching for potential suicide bombers, at least one of whom may already be in the host city of Sochi.

The suspects are thought to be linked to Islamist militants who are fighting to throw off Russian control and create a fundamentalist Muslim state in Russia's North Caucasus Mountains.

Police have been circulating leaflets at hotels in Sochi, warning about women who may be part of a terrorist plot.

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Europe
5:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

As Protests Renew In Ukraine, Fears Of Violence Return

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to Ukraine where the crisis is intensifying. Today, there were more clashes between protesters and police in the capital city, Kiev. This after a massive protest turned violent yesterday, when more than 100,000 people turned out to denounce a new law that limits public protests. The protests have shaken Ukraine for two months, as the opposition claims President Viktor Yanukovych is turning increasingly autocratic and aligning his country with Russia.

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World
3:03 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Russia Aims To Implement The Tightest Security In Olympic History

Police officers with dogs walk along a street in Sochi, Russia, on Jan. 6. The presence of security personnel has ramped up recently ahead of the Winter Olympics.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:55 am

With less than a month to go before the Winter Games, Russian officials are putting the finishing touches on what they say will be the tightest Olympic security in history.

After a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in the region, the authorities are deploying high-tech surveillance equipment and tens of thousands of troops in Sochi, the host city on the Black Sea.

Sochi is unique among the cities hosting the Winter Games because it has the mild climate of a seaside resort, but it's less than an hour away from the snow-capped mountains of the North Caucasus.

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Parallels
4:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

In Russia, A Soviet-Era Movie To Ring In The New Year

Zhenya drinks heavily with his friends at a Russian bathhouse in The Irony of Fate, a Soviet-era film that Russians still watch on New Year's Day.
Via Mosfilm

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:19 pm

Every year on New Year's Eve, at least one TV channel in Russia will show The Irony of Fate, a three-hour movie that was made for TV in 1975.

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World
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Police Move In As Protests Continue In Kiev

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Thousands of riot police jostled with protestors in Ukraine overnight. The protestors want their country to sign a trade deal with the European Union. The elected president of the country does not. At issue here is whether their nation tilts a little more toward Western Europe or toward neighboring Russia. NPR's Corey Flintoff is on the line with us from the scene of these protests. And Corey, what's happening now?

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Sports
1:16 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

A Boxing Champ Rises In Ukraine's Bare-Knuckle World Of Politics

Vitali Klitschko, head of the opposition UDAR party, waves a flag during a rally in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 1. The WBC heavyweight boxing champion has emerged as one of Ukraine's most popular political figures, as massive anti-government protests grip the country.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 4:35 pm

Vitali Klitschko is best-known to the world as "Dr. Ironfist," towering over opponents at a full 6 feet 7 inches, with a punch that delivered 45 victories, including 41 knockouts and only two defeats.

Now 42, Klitschko is the current World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, but he has his eye on a bigger title — president of Ukraine.

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Parallels
7:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Once Victims Of Stalin, Ukraine's Tatars Reassert Themselves

A Crimean Tatar man cries at a mass rally held in Simfropol, Ukraine, on May 18, 2004, the 60th anniversary of the deportation of Tatars from Crimea.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:24 pm

In 1944, on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the entire population of Tatars on the Crimean Peninsula was rounded up and sent to the deserts of Soviet Central Asia.

Nearly 70 years after that wartime atrocity, the Tatar population is still working to reassert itself in its homeland.

Mullah Ziyatdin, 82, was just 12 when he and his family were rousted in the middle of the night, ordered to gather a few belongings and shoved into freight cars for a nightmarish three-week journey. The freight-car doors were opened every few days.

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Parallels
4:52 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Ukraine, A Chocolate Factory And The Fate Of A Woman

Individually wrapped chocolate-covered hazelnut sweets move along a conveyor belt on the production line at the Roshen Confectionary Corp. factory in Kiev, Ukraine. A Russian ban on Ukraine's chocolate comes at a time when the nation is considering aligning itself with the European Union.
Joseph Sywenkyj Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:41 pm

It's been more than two decades since the former Soviet Union broke apart, and to the dismay of Russia, many of the 15 former Soviet republics have spun away from Moscow's orbit.

Now Ukraine — with 46 million people — has a chance to say goodbye to its Soviet past and align itself both economically and culturally with the European Union.

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Sports
5:03 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

100 Days To The Sochi Olympics: Some Key Things To Know

One of the participants of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay runs near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, on Oct. 8. Controversies surrounding costs, security and gay rights swirl around the games, to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:58 am

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, open in February, just 100 days from now.

The games have already given rise to some superlatives: most expensive (at more than $50 billion), most heavily guarded and, potentially, most controversial.

Here are key questions surrounding the Sochi games, and some answers:

An Islamist militant leader has called on Muslim fighters to attack the Olympics. Can Russian officials keep visitors and athletes safe?

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Europe
1:50 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

'Just For Fun,' Lively Song And Dance In Kiev Metro Station

Ukrainians sing and dance in a subway in downtown Kiev in 2009. It has been a tradition for 20 years.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 5:17 pm

The best thing about traveling is that some experiences just crop up spontaneously.

Take a recent Saturday evening in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

It's chilly, and people hurry past on their way to clubs and restaurants, their coat collars turned up against the wind.

Young women clatter up the steps from the Teatralna metro station, oblivious to the sound that wafts up behind them — the sound of people singing.

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Parallels
12:19 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive

The Chinese border town of Suifenhe is a port of entry for almost all of the hardwood coming from the Russian Far East. Russia is the world's largest exporter of timber, but illegal logging is a growing problem.
Courtesty of EIA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:11 am

Forests cover about half of Russia's land mass, an environmental resource that President Vladimir Putin calls "the powerful green lungs of the planet."

But Putin himself acknowledges that Russia, the world's biggest exporter of logs, is having its timber stolen at an unprecedented rate.

The demand for high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging in the Russian Far East. The hardwood cut in the endless forests often ends up as flooring and furniture in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

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Europe
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Russia Charges Greenpeace Activists With Piracy

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

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