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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Europe
2:50 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Near Crash Site, Stories Of The Jet Cleave Closely To Russian Version

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

U.S. intelligence officials outlined today what they know so far about the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight in Ukraine. A U.S. spy satellite detected the launch of a surface to air missile from eastern Ukraine at the time the plane went down.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

They were also able to verify the identities of separatist leaders on an intercepted phone call. But U.S. intelligence does not yet know yet who - and this is a quote - "who pulled the trigger."

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Parallels
3:03 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

The Challenges Of Investigating The Malaysia Airlines Disaster

Ukrainian coal miners search the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines plane near the eastern village of Rozsypne. The area is under the control of pro-Russian separatists who are fighting the Ukrainian government.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

The crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine holds many important clues about what happened to the plane. But that site is under the control of pro-Russian separatists who are suspected of involvement in shooting the plane down.

The rebel fighters say they are giving access to investigators, including those from the Ukrainian government, though one Ukrainian official who visited the scene Friday said he was not given full access.

Here are some of the key questions on the investigation into Flight MH17:

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Europe
3:02 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Darkened By A Bloody History, Baltics Hope To Be Bolstered By NATO

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Russia's recent involvement in Ukrainian political turmoil touched a raw nerve in the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. All three are now members of the EU and NATO, but they have painful memories of the Soviet occupation. Leaders of the Baltic states are asking for a bigger NATO presence in their countries, a move Russia angrily opposes.

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Europe
2:25 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

In Long-Roiled Ukraine, War Mentality Turns Outward

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 5:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Ukrainian military ramped up air and artillery strikes against pro-Russian separatists today. The offensive in Ukraine's eastern provinces resumed after President Petro Poroshenko declared he would not renew a 10-day ceasefire. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would protect the interests of ethnic Russians in other countries but he didn't offer a specific support to the rebels in Ukraine. Here's NPR's Corey Flintoff.

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Europe
2:07 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Ukraine's Latest Turn Toward EU Has Moscow Glowering

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 4:33 pm

Ukraine's president has signed a historic trade and economic pact with the European Union, a move his predecessor rejected. The conflict that the first rejection sparked still simmers, with violence continuing in the country's east despite a shaky cease-fire.

Europe
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Ukrainian Rebels Reject Cease-Fire, As Russian Troops Line Border

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Europe
2:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

From Ukraine's President, A Promise Of Truce — With Conditions

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Ukraine's new president says he will order a unilateral cease-fire in the East of his country. That's where government troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists. The announcement today came after Petro Poroshenko discussed the crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin. NPR's Corey Flintoff has this update from the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

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Europe
2:49 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Citing Unpaid Debts, Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To Ukraine

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Russia says it has cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine after Kiev missed a deadline to pay part of its huge outstanding energy debt. The Russians say that in the future the state-run company Gazprom will only supply gas to Ukraine in return for pre-payment.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Europe
2:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Are 'Color Revolutions' A New Front In U.S.-Russia Tensions?

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 5:43 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

U.S. relations with Russia are at their lowest point since the Cold War thanks to the crisis in Ukraine. Russian defense officials are talking about a new doctrine of subversive warfare between major world powers. They accuse the West of using popular uprisings to topple unfriendly governments. And some analysts say Moscow itself is employing that strategy in eastern Ukraine. More from NPR's Corey Flintoff.

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Parallels
12:42 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Now That Russia Has Crimea, What Is Moscow's Plan?

Crimea's new prime minister, Sergei Aksyonov (right), and the speaker of the legislature, Vladimir Konstantinov, attend a rally at Red Square in Moscow on March 18, the day Russia annexed the territory. Russia is pumping billions into Crimea after taking it from Ukraine. However, corruption has been a major problem in Crimea.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Less than three months after Russia annexed Crimea, Moscow is committing billions of dollars in aid and tax breaks to make the Black Sea peninsula a showcase of development.

But there's at least one major problem: The region has a deeply ingrained reputation for corruption and organized crime, a reputation that already taints some of the region's newest leaders.

After Russian troops seized control of the Crimean parliament in February, one of the first leaders to emerge was a 41-year-old businessman and politician named Sergei Aksyonov.

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Europe
5:49 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Separatists Disrupt Ukraine's Election Preparations

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 12:09 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Teams of international observers are arriving in Ukraine ahead of tomorrow's presidential election. But in the eastern region of the country, where pro-Moscow militia are vowing to disrupt the vote, there may not be much for them to observe. Separatists say they won't allow the election to proceed in the regions that they have declared to be independent states. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Donetsk.

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World
4:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Putin Sends Mixed Signals On His Attitude To Ukrainian Election

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow will respect the outcome of the upcoming election in Ukraine but later said he still has concerns about the legitimacy of the vote.

Europe
2:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Ukraine's Richest Man Pushes Back Against Pro-Moscow Separatists

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 6:16 pm

There are increasing signs of friction between pro-Moscow separatists and local residents in eastern Ukraine, as some local people demand an end to the violence and lawlessness in the region. Meanwhile, one of Ukraine's richest men has repeated his call for a return to stability, calling on workers to show their support for a unified country.

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Europe
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

The Blogging Battlegrounds Of Eastern Ukraine

Separatists occupy the administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Pro-Ukraine bloggers and activists say they've had to leave eastern cities because of threats and surveillance by separatists.
Fabio Bucciarelli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

As Ukraine prepares for presidential elections on Sunday, a social media struggle is underway in the country's eastern provinces.

That's where pro-Russian separatists have seized government buildings in many towns and declared independence after a much-disputed referendum. The separatists have vowed to block the vote in at least two key regions, Donetsk and Luhansk.

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Europe
2:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

After Eastern Ukrainian Steel Magnate Flexes Muscle, Barricades Fall

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Barricades in the eastern Ukrainian town of Mariupol have been dismantled, following a deal between separatist leaders, police and steelworkers from the city's biggest steel mill. The deal came after steel mill owner, billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, issued a statement saying the region's economic future depended on staying united with Ukraine.

Parallels
4:30 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

After Referendum In Eastern Ukraine, Different Visions Emerge

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station on May 11 in Hartsizk, Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists are claiming independence after the referendum in cities across eastern Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 pm

In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists are claiming independence based on a victory in a hastily organized referendum. Now, they're resisting a nationwide presidential election that's scheduled for May 25.

With Russian troops still massed near the border, Ukrainian and international mediators are trying to find a solution for the crisis.

There are some very different visions of the future for the volatile region.

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Europe
2:02 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

In Two Eastern Ukraine Provinces, Bold Steps Toward Independence

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine declared independence for two regions today, after announcing the results of a much-disputed referendum. Separatist leaders in the Donetsk region asked to join Russia. The Kremlin said it respected the vote but it has not yet responded to that request. The Ukrainian government maintains the referendum was illegal, and it threatened criminal prosecution for those who organized it. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Donetsk.

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World
2:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Kinder Words From Putin, But They Come With A Cost

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the conflict in Ukraine. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin made some conciliatory sounding statements. He called on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum on autonomy. That vote is currently scheduled for Sunday. Putin also said that Russian troops had withdrawn from the Ukrainian border and that Russia is ready for more talks on ways to resolve the crisis.

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World
1:28 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Putin's Internet Plan Requires 'Sharing' With Security Services

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown speaking on TV last month, has signed a measure that would impose a host of restrictions on Internet companies and users.
Alexey Nikolsky/RIO Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 6:25 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new measure that will give the government much greater control over the Internet.

Critics say the law is aimed at silencing opposition bloggers and restricting what people can say on social media. It would also force international email providers and social networks to make their users' information available to the Russian security services.

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Parallels
3:19 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Russia Condemns Ukraine With Comparisons To Nazis

Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint they seized Friday morning in the eastern Ukrainian village of Andreevka. The Russian government has referred to Ukraine's interim government and other Ukrainian groups as "fascists" and "neo-Nazis."
Vasily Maximov AFP/Getty Images

The Ukrainian government is describing its offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country as an "anti-terrorist operation," language that offends the separatists and Russia.

In turn, Russia is using even stronger language, saying that the Ukrainian military has launched a "punitive operation." While that may not carry any special meaning to Western ears, it has far more sinister implications for Russians.

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Europe
2:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Outrage Out Of Moscow As News Of Ukrainian Offensive Spreads

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Russia reacted to news of the Ukrainian offensive in Slavyansk with outrage. The Russian mission at the United Nations has called for a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the issue. A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said the action had effectively destroyed all hope for the Geneva Peace Accords. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on the view from Moscow.

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Europe
9:30 am
Sat April 26, 2014

What Russia Might Gain From A Decentralized Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers watch a helicopter fly overhead outside the eastern town of Kramatorsk. Under Moscow's proposal for Ukraine's constitution, the east and other regions would be strongly autonomous.
Evgeniy Maloletka AP

Ukraine's interim government is facing major obstacles: a separatist uprising in the east of the country, an economy in tatters and a presidential election next month.

But the leadership is also facing a longer-term challenge, one that will shape the future of the country: the creation of a new constitution.

The task will be complicated by pressure from Russia, which has already made clear what kind of constitution it thinks Ukraine should have. Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, laid out Russia's position in an interview last month.

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Parallels
1:04 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Does Russia Have The Military To Take Ukraine?

Armed pro-Russia activists stand outside the Ukrainian regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk on April 14.
Evgeniy Maloletka AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:44 am

Russia says it is once again staging military drills near the border of eastern Ukraine.

Russia's defense minister says the exercises are a reaction to NATO maneuvers in Eastern Europe and what he calls "Ukraine's military machine."

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Europe
2:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

On Russian Call-in Show, Putin Maintains Hard Line Against West

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes he won't have to move troops into Ukraine to protect the local Russian-speaking population, but he reserves the right to do so. He made the comments on a televised call-in show.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Salt
11:01 am
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 2:21 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
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 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
2:14 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
10:08 am
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 3:17 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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Parallels
12:08 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 6:02 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
3:26 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 8:43 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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