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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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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3:34pm

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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4:43pm

Tue March 24, 2015
Europe

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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5:00pm

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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4:46pm

Fri February 20, 2015
Europe

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

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 10:43 pm

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

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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