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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Sports
2:58 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

Kazakhstan Promises 'Real Winter Wonderland' In Bid To Host 2022 Games

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 4:24 pm

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Remembrances
2:32 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Popular Russian Balladeer Sang About Ordinary Life In The USSR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 8:13 am

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Parallels
2:30 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Tough Painkiller Rules Push Some Russian Cancer Patients To Suicide

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

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 9:30 am

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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Parallels
2:27 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 4:42 pm

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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Parallels
3:50 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

U.S. Army Begins Training Ukrainian Soldiers

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

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 1:11 pm

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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Parallels
1:43 am
Wed June 24, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 12:24 pm

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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Europe
3:03 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Drop In Demand Leads To Layoffs In Russia's Auto Market

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 6:01 am

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Parallels
1:35 am
Tue June 2, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 8:00 am

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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World
3:15 pm
Sat May 9, 2015

Russia Marks WWII Victory Day With Biggest Parade Since Soviet Era

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 6:21 pm

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Parallels
1:52 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

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

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

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

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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Europe
6:05 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Local Volunteer Groups Lead Effort To Help Ukraine's Displaced Citizens

Refugees from different cities of the Donetsk region controlled by pro-Russia separatists stay March 12 in a center for refugees in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk. The cease-fire in eastern Ukraine between Kiev's forces and pro-Russian rebels has been tenuous at best, and residents of the region continue to flee; 1.2 million have been displaced by the fighting.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

The conflict in Ukraine might have slipped from the headlines recently, but there is still scattered fighting there, despite an official cease-fire.

That hasn't helped the nearly 1.2 million people who have been driven from their homes in Ukraine and forced to seek shelter in other parts of the country.

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Europe
5:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Ukrainian Protestants Say Religious Intolerance Rising In Donetsk

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:33 am

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Parallels
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Foreign Carmakers Shift Into Reverse In Russia

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

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

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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Parallels
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:50 am

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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Parallels
12:18 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

A New Front In The Ukrainian Conflict: Russian Gas Imports

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

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:38 pm

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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Europe
6:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

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

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 8:40 am

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

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Europe
4:28 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Putin Critic Boris Nemtsov Shot Dead In Moscow

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 6:13 pm

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

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Parallels
3:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:40 pm

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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Europe
3:06 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

State Department Spokeswoman's Promotion Means End To 'Psaking' In Russia

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 8:43 pm

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

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Europe
2:57 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Ukrainian Soldiers Retreat After Eastern Town Falls

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 7:21 pm

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

Europe
2:35 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

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

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 4:27 pm

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

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Europe
3:07 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Minsk Meeting Aimed At Stopping Fighting In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 6:00 am

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

Parallels
2:58 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 2:25 pm

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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Europe
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Civilians In Eastern Ukraine Flee As Fighting Intensifies

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

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

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Parallels
4:20 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Amid Fighting In Donetsk, On Edge And Seeking Safety Underground

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

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:01 pm

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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Parallels
12:16 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

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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Parallels
3:50 am
Sun January 18, 2015

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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Europe
3:05 am
Wed January 14, 2015

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

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:48 am

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

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Parallels
5:50 am
Sat January 10, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 2:35 pm

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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Parallels
3:00 am
Tue January 6, 2015

The Russian Who Claims Credit For Fanning The Flames In Ukraine

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

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 11:16 am

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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