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.

Pages

6:30pm

Wed May 14, 2014
Parallels

After Referendum In Eastern Ukraine, Different Visions Emerge

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:59 pm

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

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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4:02pm

Mon May 12, 2014
Europe

In Two Eastern Ukraine Provinces, Bold Steps Toward Independence

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:58 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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4:29pm

Wed May 7, 2014
World

Kinder Words From Putin, But They Come With A Cost

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:59 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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3:28am

Tue May 6, 2014
World

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

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:25 pm

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

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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5:19pm

Sat May 3, 2014
Parallels

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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4:21pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Europe

Outrage Out Of Moscow As News Of Ukrainian Offensive Spreads

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 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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4:03pm

Tue April 29, 2014
News

Heated Words, And Mild Relief, In Russia's Response To New Sanctions

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 7:40 pm

Russia reacted angrily to new EU and U.S. sanctions, which were imposed in response to Russian interference in Ukraine. Russia's deputy foreign minister vowed to deliver a "painful" response.

11:30am

Sat April 26, 2014
Europe

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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3:04am

Fri April 25, 2014
Parallels

Does Russia Have The Military To Take Ukraine?

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 8:44 am

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

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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4:23pm

Thu April 17, 2014
Europe

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

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:06 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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1:01pm

Tue April 8, 2014
The Salt

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

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

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

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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4:16pm

Thu March 6, 2014
News

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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4:14pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Parallels

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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12:08pm

Sat February 22, 2014
Europe

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

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

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

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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1:33pm

Thu February 20, 2014
Europe

Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator

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

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

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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5:26am

Sun February 16, 2014
The Edge

'Sports Chaplains' Bring The Gospel To Olympic Village

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

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

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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5:17pm

Mon January 27, 2014
Europe

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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5:06pm

Fri January 24, 2014
Europe

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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3:35am

Fri January 24, 2014
Parallels

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

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

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

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.

Read more

5:37pm

Mon January 20, 2014
Europe

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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3:03am

Wed January 15, 2014
World

Russia Aims To Implement The Tightest Security In Olympic History

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

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

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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4:13pm

Tue December 31, 2013
Parallels

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

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

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

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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6:56am

Wed December 11, 2013
World

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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7:35am

Sat November 23, 2013
Parallels

Once Victims Of Stalin, Ukraine's Tatars Reassert Themselves

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

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

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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5:03pm

Tue November 12, 2013
Parallels

Ukraine, A Chocolate Factory And The Fate Of A Woman

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

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

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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4:24pm

Wed October 2, 2013
Europe

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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5:28am

Mon September 30, 2013
Environment

Forum Discusses Arctic Oil And Gas Searches

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the first Monday of the rest of your life, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Climate change is melting ice in the Arctic. And that is opening up the top of the world to drilling, shipping traffic, and also concerns about the environment. Earlier this month, Greenpeace activists were arrested trying to board an oil platform that's owned by Russia's state gas company.

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5:09pm

Sat September 21, 2013
Parallels

The U.S. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Murders

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:39 pm

A worker at the Grand Okhota sportsman gun shop in Moscow on April 23.
Karpov Sergei ITAR-TASS /Landov

The U.S. and Russia have been taking lots of jabs at each other.

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized President Obama's plan for a military strike in Syria, and the Russian leader then denounced American "exceptionalism" in a biting op-ed in The New York Times.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., fired back Thursday with his own op-ed in the Russian paper Pravda, entitled, "Russia Deserves Better Than Putin."

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4:22pm

Thu September 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:14 am

Greenpeace's ship the "Arctic Sunrise" in 2005.
Samuel Aranda AFP/Getty Images

Greenpeace reports that its vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, has been boarded by the Russian Coast Guard after a protest against oil and gas drilling in the Russian Arctic.

The crew of the vessel tweeted throughout the drama. A tweet by Greenpeace HQ indicated that everyone was safe but that the crew was not "in control of the ship at this point."

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5:36pm

Wed September 11, 2013
World

What's Driving Russia's Tactical Change On Syria?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:14 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to avoid a strike by the U.S.
Michael Klimentyev/Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

For months, Russia has been playing a defensive game on Syria, blocking U.N. resolutions that could have led to the ouster of its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But Russia is now on the offense, running with a plan that could avert U.S.-led strikes against Syria by having Syria place its chemical weapons under international control.

So why the change in tactics?

There are several different strands in Russian thinking on the issue.

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