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
5:05 am
Wed January 14, 2015

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/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
5:18 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

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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Europe
5:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Russia Heads Toward Recession, With No Relief In Sight

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

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

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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Europe
5:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:42 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, in the radio business, we think a lot about sound and what it means. Sound is not always what it seems, as NPR's Corey Flintoff reminds us from Moscow.

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The Salt
3:40 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

To Foil Russia's Food Ban, Imported Ingredients Go Incognito

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:13 pm

It's been six weeks since Moscow slapped a ban on foods imported from the United States, the European Union and other countries that sanctioned Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. The implications of that move are just beginning to be felt.

Many of the Russian capital's trendiest restaurants have been hit hard because they get most of their ingredients from Europe. So they've had to scramble to find replacements.

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Fighting In Ukraine Continues; Russia Dismisses Threat Of Sanctions

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:52 pm

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

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
4:50 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 8:17 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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World
5:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

International Observers Work To Keep Tabs On Site Of Malaysia Jet Crash

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry spent a lot of time on TV yesterday, laying out what he says is extraordinary circumstantial evidence that rebels in Eastern Ukraine shot down the Malaysia Airlines jetliner. Kerry said on NBC's "Meet The Press" they did it with Russian help.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MEET THE PRESS")

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: It is clear that Russia supports the separatists, supplies the separatists, encourages the separatists, trains the separatists and Russia needs to step up and make a difference here.

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Parallels
5:03 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 7:54 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
5:18 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 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
4:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Europe
4:49 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Citing Unpaid Debts, Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To Ukraine

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:20 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
4:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:43 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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World
5:38 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Putin Sends Mixed Signals On His Attitude To Ukrainian Election

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:04 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
4:16 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 8:54 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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Parallels
6:30 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 7:59 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
4:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

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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Europe
11:22 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

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:30 am

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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Europe
4:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

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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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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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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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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Environment
5:28 am
Mon September 30, 2013

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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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard

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

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

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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World
5:28 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

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

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

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

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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Europe
4:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Loser In Moscow Mayoral Election The One That's Made News

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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Europe
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Former Soviet Republic's Democratic Transition Questioned

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It was five years ago that the U.S. was chastising Russia over its invasion of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Russian tanks had moved across the border after Georgian forces tried to re-take a separatist region, a region which Russia backed. There is still tensions between the countries, but last year Georgian voters elected a new prime minister who pledged to improve ties with Moscow.

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Parallels
1:51 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Migrants Flock To Russia, But Receive A Cool Welcome

Migrant workers follow a police officer during a raid by Russian immigration authorities at a construction site in Moscow, in 2012.
Karpov Sergei ITAR-Tass/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:26 am

Russia's immigration issues would be familiar to Americans: Millions of impoverished migrants have come and found low-wage jobs. Some are in Russia illegally and are exploited by their employers. And a growing number of Russians fear this influx of migrants, many of whom are Muslim, is changing the face of the country.

At 3:30 on a recent morning, the train from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, pulls into Moscow after a four-day journey. The passengers hauling their bags out onto the damp, ill-lit platform are mostly men. Russian police eye the new arrivals with suspicion.

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Parallels
5:32 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Anti-Gay Riot In Tblisi Tests Balance Between Church, State

Anti-gay protesters try to attack a bus with gay activists who are being taken away from a pro-gay-rights rally by police for their own protection in Tblisi, Georgia, on May 17. Thousands of anti-gay protesters, including Orthodox priests, occupied a central street in Georgia's capital.
Shakh Aivazov AP

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 8:06 pm

While gay rights have been gaining ground in the West, they've been facing a strong backlash in many countries of the former Soviet Union.

Russia recently passed a law that makes it a crime to give information about "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors.

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