Michele Kelemen

A former NPR Moscow bureau chief, Michele Kelemen now covers the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In her latest beat, Kelemen has been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda from Asia to the Middle East. She also followed President Bush's Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and was part of the NPR team that won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.

As NPR's Moscow bureau chief, Kelemen chronicled the end of the Yeltsin era and Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power. She recounted the terrible toll of the latest war in Chechnya, while also reporting on a lighter side of Russia, with stories about modern day Russian literature and sports.

Kelemen came to NPR in September 1998, after eight years working for the Voice of America. There, she learned the ropes as a news writer, newscaster and show host.

Michele earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Russian and East European Affairs and International Economics.

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6:38am

Wed April 2, 2014
Europe

Russia Cautions Against A Return Of Cold War Rhetoric

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Ever since Russia annexed Crimea, NATO has been watching and waiting for Russia's next moves. This morning, NATO's military commander, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said Russia has the forces it needs along Ukraine's border to carryout a full scale invasion of the eastern part of that country within a matter of days. Hoping to exert some pressure, NATO announced its suspending what it calls practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia.

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4:25pm

Tue March 18, 2014
News

Russia Votes To Annex Crimea, As The West Looks On

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:50 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.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin moved today to overturn recent history by reclaiming Crimea for Russia. Putin signed a treaty to annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and gave a rousing speech to parliament laying out his case. He is also blasted the West for trying to frighten him with sanctions.

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6:35am

Thu March 13, 2014
Europe

Yatsenyuk Appeals For International Aid For Ukraine

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:44 am

Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk takes his case to the United Nations on Thursday, as he tries to build support for his country in its territorial conflict with Russia.

5:04am

Wed March 12, 2014
Europe

Ukraine's Interim Prime Minister To Visit White House

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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4:58pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Europe

Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. This all complicates things on the diplomatic front.

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4:35pm

Wed March 5, 2014
News

Kerry And Russian Diplomat Talk Crimea In Paris

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Yesterday, he was in Ukraine. Today, it's Paris. Secretary of State John Kerry is logging a lot of miles these days, trying to find a diplomatic solution to the unfolding crisis in Crimea. In Paris, he met with Russia's foreign minister. Kerry said the discussions were substantive. Diplomatic sources tell NPR the results were inconclusive. But at least the talking had begun.

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4:18pm

Tue March 4, 2014
News

Kerry's In Kiev And He Comes Bearing Gifts — One Billion Of Them

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:31 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kiev Tuesday, offering $1 billion in American loan guarantees and promises of technical assistance to the new Ukrainian government.

5:04pm

Fri February 28, 2014
Parallels

Syria On Track To Become World's Largest Source Of Refugees

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 10:35 pm

Masses of refugees wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk camp on Jan. 31 in Damascus, Syria.
United Nation Relief and Works Agency/Getty Images

A photo from Syria is grabbing the world's attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of a Palestinian refugee camp inside Syria.

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia was so moved by the image, he took to the Senate floor, saying "a country of 23 million people, a proud country, is being transformed before our eyes to a land of rubble, skeletons, refugees and ghosts."

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3:25am

Fri February 28, 2014
Parallels

Secretary Of State Kerry Says Ukraine Is Not A 'Cold War Story'

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 10:49 am

An anti-Yanukovych protester walks past a barricade in Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, emerged Friday to give a news conference on Russian soil, not far from the Ukraine border. Russia is not only giving Yanukovych shelter — it's also carrying out military exercises that have raised alarms in Washington.

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4:49pm

Wed February 26, 2014
Parallels

U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:08 pm

A demonstrator confronts riot policemen during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela's capital, on Feb. 22.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. has been able to do, aside from criticize the jailing of opposition figures or the rising death toll as protesters continue to take to the streets, blaming the government for high inflation and crime.

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4:09pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Europe

Will Ukraine Do What It Takes To Unlock International Aid?

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:55 pm

Ukrainians line up to get their money from a bank machine in the western city of Lviv last week. Clashes in Independence Square in Kiev and the resulting political turmoil caused a financial panic.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday.

"The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.

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4:52pm

Wed February 19, 2014
Europe

U.S., Allies Urge All Sides In Ukraine To Pull Back From Brink

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:38 pm

Anti-government protesters throw stones during clashes with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the Ukraine's current unrest, on Wednesday. The deadly clashes have drawn sharp reactions from Washington and generated talk of possible European Union sanctions.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Poland are traveling to Ukraine in hopes of persuading all sides in the country's recent violence to pull back from the brink and restart a political dialogue. The U.S. is also urging the country's president to calm the situation and restart a dialogue with the opposition. But the U.S. and Europe seem to have few levers of influence, as the crisis spins out of control.

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6:23pm

Thu February 13, 2014
World

More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:05 pm

TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.
Handout Getty Images

The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right?

But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. envoy to that European country, struggled to answer that simple question during her recent confirmation hearing.

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5:16pm

Thu February 6, 2014
Europe

Leaked Ukraine Phone Call Puts U.S. Credibility On The Line

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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4:57pm

Sun January 12, 2014
Middle East

Kerry: 'No Other Alternative' To Ending Violence In Syria

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 6:50 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

The U.S. and other world powers have agreed on a plan with Iran to start rolling back parts of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal goes into effect later this month.

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