Corey Flintoff

Corey Flintoff is a correspondent with the Foreign Desk. His career has taken him to more than 45 countries.

Since 2005, Flintoff has been part of the NPR team covering the Iraq War. He has embedded with U.S. military units fighting insurgents and hunting roadside bombs. His stories from Iraq have dealt with sectarian killings, government corruption, the Christian refugee crisis, and the destruction of Iraq's southern marshes.

In 2008, Flintoff sailed on a French warship to cover the hunt for pirates off the coast of Somalia, and in 2009 he visited the mountains of Haiti, reporting on efforts to restore the country's devastated forests.

Flintoff joined NPR as a newscaster in 1990. For years, he was a part of NPR listeners' homeward commutes, reporting the latest news at the start of each hour of All Things Considered. He referred to newscasting as "news haiku" — distilling the day's complex events into short, straightforward stories that give listeners a fair grasp of what's going on in the world at any given time. Flintoff has also been heard as a reporter for NPR's newsmagazines, as a fill-in host, and as Carl Kasell's understudy on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!. He performs in radio dramas and travels frequently to speak on behalf of NPR member stations.

Flintoff is part of NPR's "Alaska Mafia," which includes Peter Kenyon, Elizabeth Arnold, and other top reporters who got their start with the Alaska Public Radio Network. He was APRN's executive producer for seven years, hosting the evening newsmagazine Alaska News Nightly. He also freelanced for NPR, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Monitor Radio and the Associated Press. Flintoff won a 1989 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award for his coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Prior to APRN, Flintoff worked as a reporter and news director for KYUK-AM/TV in Bethel, Alaska, and KSKA-FM in Anchorage. 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.

Flintoff's first radio experience was at a bilingual English-Yup'ik Eskimo station in Bethel, Alaska, where he learned enough Yup'ik to announce the station identification. He tried 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 University of California at Berkeley and a master's from the University of Chicago, both in English Literature.

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4:30am

Fri July 10, 2015
Parallels

Tough Painkiller Rules Push Some Russian Cancer Patients To Suicide

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 11:30 am

Russia has strict rules on dispensing painkillers. Family members say some cancer patients killed themselves because they could not obtain the medicine and the pain was too great.
Andy Baker Ikon Images/Getty Images

There has been a spate of suicides among cancer patients in Russia and family members say their loved ones took their own lives because of unbearable pain, the result of government rules that make it hard to get painkilling drugs.

A new Russian law aims to make the process more humane, but patient advocates say it doesn't go far enough.

There's a support hotline for cancer patients called Project Co-operate, where volunteers offer advice and information to callers from all across Russia.

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4:39pm

Wed July 1, 2015
Parallels

Who's Behind A String Of Bombings In Ukraine's Black Sea 'Pearl'?

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:42 pm

Police search the area near a destroyed billboard reading "Crimea is Ukraine!" following an explosion in Odessa on June 12.
Alexey Kravtsov AFP/Getty Images

Oleg Konstantinov, the editor of a news website called Dumskaya in Ukraine's port city of Odessa, pulls up a map on a computer screen in his small, crowded newsroom. It's dotted with red, yellow, orange and green fire-burst icons, indicating where 34 bombings have taken place in the city over the past year or so.

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5:50pm

Thu June 25, 2015
Parallels

U.S. Army Begins Training Ukrainian Soldiers

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 3:11 pm

Ukrainian national guardsmen practice protecting and recovering wounded comrades as American military trainers watch.
Corey Flintoff NPR

Fighting surged again this week in eastern Ukraine, where government troops are battling separatist militias and their Russian allies.

NATO is responding by sending troops and equipment to eastern Europe, and it's also giving defensive training to Ukraine's beleaguered army.

First, you need to know how bad things were for the Ukrainian army when separatist militias and their Russian allies began the fight in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.

Miroslav Gai volunteered for the army last winter.

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3:43am

Wed June 24, 2015
Parallels

A Thorn For Russia, Georgia's Ex-President Pops Up In Ukraine

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 2:24 pm

Galina Mazourenko, 80, makes her living playing sentimental songs from Soviet times near the port in Odessa. She says her city is open-hearted but has deeply rooted corruption.
Courtesy of Diana Derby

When Mikheil Saakashvili was the flamboyant, provocative president of Georgia, he made an international name for himself with his willingness to take on Russia, his much larger neighbor to the north.

Saakashvili led his tiny country, a former Soviet republic, in the brief war with Russia in 2008, which Georgia quickly lost. Saakashvili, who was also known as an economic reformer, served two terms as president but left Georgia after his party suffered a crushing defeat in parliamentary elections.

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3:35am

Tue June 2, 2015
Parallels

Glory Of Moscow's 80-Year-Old Subway Tainted By Stalin Connections

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 10:00 am

Visitors check out the Soviet-era metro cars exhibited at the Partizanskaya subway station in Moscow, as part of festivities marking the subway system's 80th anniversary.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Moscow this year is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its subway system — the Moscow Metro — a crowning achievement of the Soviet Union's unprecedented forced industrialization in the 1930s.

One of the world's biggest and busiest subways today, it has dark connections to the repressions of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

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5:15pm

Sat May 9, 2015
World

Russia Marks WWII Victory Day With Biggest Parade Since Soviet Era

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 8:21 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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3:52pm

Fri May 8, 2015
Parallels

At Russia's Huge WWII Remembrance, An Absence Of Western Leaders

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 10:38 pm

Russian military personnel march in Moscow's Red Square during a rehearsal Thursday for the Victory Day military parade that will take place Saturday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

Victory Day, which commemorates the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, is the biggest annual celebration in Russia. And Saturday's event, marking the 70th anniversary, will be among the largest ever held.

The centerpiece will be a giant military parade just outside the Kremlin walls in Red Square, where more than 16,000 troops will pass in review before President Vladimir Putin, VIPs and foreign leaders.

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7:26am

Sun March 29, 2015
Europe

Ukrainian Protestants Say Religious Intolerance Rising In Donetsk

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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5:22pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Parallels

Foreign Carmakers Shift Into Reverse In Russia

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:40 pm

Cars drive past the Kremlin along the Moscow River last December. Foreign automakers had been ramping up production in Russia, but the country's economic woes have caused car sales to drop sharply. Several foreign automakers have cut back production, and General Motors is pulling out of Russia.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

General Motors announced last week that it's closing its auto plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Volkswagen says it will lay off workers and reduce shifts at a plant in central Russia.

The latest auto industry troubles highlight a dismal picture for foreign investment in Russia, which could see a 35 percent drop in sales this year.

Seven years ago, GM was looking at a bright future in the Russian market. Cars sales were taking off and would eventually grow at a rate of more than 10 percent a year.

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4:44pm

Thu March 19, 2015
Parallels

Despite Cease-Fire, Skirmishes Carry On Along Ukraine's Front Line

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 8:50 am

A Ukrainian serviceman walks in the village of Pisky in the region of Donetsk controlled by Ukrainian forces on Feb. 26.
Oleksandr Ratushniak AFP/Getty Images

Fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists has died down after a cease-fire agreement last month, but there are stretches of the front line where shooting has never really stopped.

Near the village of Pisky, for instance, you can hear the dull thud of incoming mortar rounds, coming in sporadic waves.

Pisky is on the Ukrainian government side of the front line, but it's not far from the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk.

The shelling is more than a mile from a militia camp set up in what used to be a small hotel and cafe.

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2:18pm

Mon March 2, 2015
Parallels

A New Front In The Ukrainian Conflict: Russian Gas Imports

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:38 pm

Workers stand next to a gas pipeline not far from the central Ukrainian city of Poltava in June 2014. Ukraine imports much of its gas from Russia, which is once again threatening to cut off supplies in a dispute over payments.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine faces a trio of crises — war, bankruptcy, and now, the threat that its people may have the heat turned off for the rest of winter.

Russia is once again threatening to cut off shipments of natural gas to Ukraine — and hinting that fuel supplies to Europe could be disrupted as well.

Energy ministers from Russia and Ukraine are holding emergency talks in Brussels mediated by the European Union.

It's an issue for the entire continent. About 40 percent of EU gas imports come from Russia, and half of that is delivered by pipelines that cross Ukraine.

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8:04am

Sat February 28, 2015
Europe

Boris Nemtsov, Shot Friday, Was A Vehement Anti-Putin Critic

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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6:28pm

Fri February 27, 2015
Europe

Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov Shot Dead In Moscow

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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5:00pm

Mon February 23, 2015
Parallels

In Battered Ukraine, Spirit Of Defiance Lives On In Maidan Square

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:40 pm

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Maidan to mark the first anniversary of anti-government demonstrations that left scores of protesters dead.
Geovien So Barcroft Media/Landov

A year ago, clashes killed scores of anti-government protesters in Ukraine and the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country.

Over the weekend, thousands of people turned out in Kiev's central square, known as the Maidan, to mark the anniversary.

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4:56pm

Wed February 18, 2015
Europe

Ukrainian Soldiers Retreat After Eastern Town Falls

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 9:21 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:35pm

Wed February 11, 2015
Europe

'Frozen Conflict' May Be Ukraine's Best Hope, For Now

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 6:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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5:07am

Wed February 11, 2015
Europe

Minsk Meeting Aimed At Stopping Fighting In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 8:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:58pm

Tue February 10, 2015
Parallels

With New Moves, Russia's Parliament Looks To Rewrite History

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 4:25 pm

Russian soldiers guard the entrance to the Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, Crimea, last March. Russia was criticized widely internationally after seizing the region. Now Russian lawmakers are considering a bill that says Crimea was illegally given to Ukraine in 1954 and should have been part of Russia all along.
Ivan Sekretarev AP

In the Soviet days, when Communist leaders periodically tried to rewrite history, the country's historians had a favorite joke: anyone can predict the future, they would say — what's hard is predicting the past.

The Soviet Union may now be history, but Russian lawmakers are busy trying to create their own version of the past.

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7:10am

Mon February 2, 2015
Europe

War In Eastern Ukraine Grows Fiercer By The Day

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:27 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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4:40pm

Fri January 30, 2015
Europe

Civilians In Eastern Ukraine Flee As Fighting Intensifies

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 6:29 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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6:00pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Parallels

Amid Fighting In Donetsk, On Edge And Seeking Safety Underground

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 9:01 pm

A woman sits inside a bomb shelter in Donetsk on Wednesday. Some local residents have lived in bomb shelters and basements for more than a month, looking for cover from artillery strikes.
Alexander Ermochenko Xinhua/Landov

As war rages in eastern Ukraine, European Union foreign ministers are preparing to meet Thursday to consider drastic new sanctions against Russia.

The EU and the United States say Moscow's troops and weapons are directly involved in an offensive by anti-government militias in Ukraine's eastern provinces.

The offensive is the latest phase in a war that has racked the region since last April — and it's grinding hard on the civilians who are caught in the middle.

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2:16pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Parallels

Bulgakov's 'Master' Still Strikes A Chord In Today's Russia

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Written during the Soviet era, Mikhail Bulgakov's classic novel, The Master and Margarita, continues to resonate in today's Russia.
Sovfoto UIG via Getty Images

In times of turmoil, Russians turn to their great writers for inspiration.

One of those writers is Mikhail Bulgakov, who died 75 years ago. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin liked some of Bulgakov's work, but he considered most of it too dangerous to publish. A museum in Moscow shows that the work is just as relevant as ever.

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5:50am

Sun January 18, 2015
Parallels

Russia's Prominent Prisoners Reflect Tension With Its Neighbors

Ukrainian military officer Nadezhda Savchenko speaks to journalists shortly after her capture in Luhansk, Ukraine, on June 19, 2014. She was apparently captured by pro-Russian insurgents during fighting in eastern Ukraine. But she is being held in Russia, which claims she was arrested in that country. Ukrainian officials say the separatists handed her over to Russia.
Igor Golovniov AP

One is a pioneering fighter pilot, another is a decorated intelligence agent and the third is a celebrated film director. Right now, all three are sitting in Russian jails.

The cases are not directly related, but all three are citizens of neighboring countries in conflict with Russia. Two are from Ukraine, arrested after Russia's annexation of Crimea and the war with Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern provinces. The third is from the Baltic nation of Estonia.

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5:05am

Wed January 14, 2015
Europe

Russian Media Condemn Paris Attacks — But Question Who Was Behind Them

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 7:48 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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7:50am

Sat January 10, 2015
Parallels

Courted By The U.S. And Russia, Uzbekistan Ignores Critics

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 4:35 pm

Uzbek President Islam Karimov looks on as Russian President Vladimir Putin, unseen, speaks to the media after talks in Moscow in April 2013.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Even as tensions have grown between the United States and Russia, both countries have worked with an autocratic leader who rules a strategic nation in Central Asia.

The country is Uzbekistan, and the leader is Islam Karimov, the 76-year-old former Communist Party boss who has been president since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Despite a long record of human rights violations, Uzbekistan has been a key partner for the United States during the Afghan War.

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5:00am

Tue January 6, 2015
Parallels

The Russian Who Claims Credit For Fanning The Flames In Ukraine

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 1:16 pm

Igor Girkin, a Russian citizen who headed the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine last year, walks with his bodyguards in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in July.
Alexander Khudoteply AFP/Getty Images

Last spring, eastern Ukraine was a struggling, rust-belt region of mines and metal works. Now it's a battle zone where armies face off with heavy weapons, and where nearly 5,000 people have died.

In Russia, one man claims to have touched off the conflagration, and he says he's proud of what he did. His name is Igor Girkin, and he has a knack for turning up in tumultuous places.

In this instance, Girkin made his appearance in April of last year, shortly after Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after months of street protests.

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4:26pm

Fri December 26, 2014
Europe

For Russia's President, A Year Of Costly Triumphs

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

5:18pm

Sat December 13, 2014
Europe

Haunting Sounds At Night, Kids' Puppet Show Clock By Day

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 6:40 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Our own Russian correspondent, Corey Flintoff, spends much of his time reporting on the activities of Vladimir Putin in Russia. But sometimes it's what's outside his own window in Moscow that captivates him.

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3:43am

Wed December 10, 2014
Parallels

Russian Pop Stars Pay A Price For Speaking Out On Ukraine

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:44 am

The Russian pop group Televizor has criticized Russia's involvement in Ukraine. Here, frontman Mikhail Borzykin performs at a 2011 show in St. Petersburg. At some concerts he sings, "Putin is a fascist," a reference to the Russian president, shown on the screen behind him.
Svetlana Bobrova Courtesy of Televizor

The conflict over Russia's role in Ukraine is spilling over into many aspects of Russian life, including its music scene. Some of the country's most popular musicians have taken stands against the annexation of Crimea and Russia's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

And those who oppose Russian involvement have been facing a backlash from the authorities.

The veteran band Televizor is a case in point.

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5:05am

Wed December 3, 2014
Europe

Russia Heads Toward Recession, With No Relief In Sight

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 12:12 pm

Pedestrians walk past a board listing foreign currency rates against the Russian ruble in Moscow on Wednesday. The ruble was trading at about 35 to the U.S. dollar this summer. Now it's more than 50 rubles to the dollar and the currency has been hitting record lows recently.
Vasily Maximov AFP/Getty Images

Russia's economy has taken a series of heavy hits in the past few months, and now it seems to be in the midst of a perfect storm.

The country depends heavily on oil exports, and prices are down sharply. The Russian currency is losing value fast. And U.S. and European sanctions, imposed after Russia's takeover of Crimea, are biting hard.

President Vladimir Putin remains defiant, saying sanctions will never bring Russia to its knees.

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