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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World
4:36 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Russia's Putin Welcomes Obama's Re-Election

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent word congratulating President Obama on his victory. Still, as NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow, during the campaign, the Russian government and state-run media sough to discredit the American electoral process.

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Europe
12:16 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Putin, Russia's Man Of Action, Is Slowed By Injury

Russian President Vladimir Putin pilots a motorized hang glider while taking part in a project to help endangered cranes on Sept. 5. Shortly after, the president — who has cultivated the image of a man of action — was photographed wincing in apparent pain.
Alexey Druzhinin/Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 12:25 pm

Take it easy, tough guy.

Russian officials are acknowledging that President Vladimir Putin has been slowed by back problems, but they insist he won't be sidelined for long.

Rumors about an injury began to float in early September, when the Russian leader was seen wincing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok.

A Kremlin spokesman said it's a minor injury, about what you'd expect in an athletic fellow like the 60-year-old Putin. Nonetheless, several overseas trips have been canceled.

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World
12:59 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Russia Set To Redefine Treason, Sparking Fears

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:41 am

Russia's parliament has approved an expanded legal definition of high treason, prompting accusations that President Vladimir Putin's government wants to further crack down on opponents.

Supporters say the proposed changes bring Russia's law up-to-date and will help the country's security service counter modern forms of spying and interference by foreign governments.

Opponents, including human rights groups, say the bill's language has been made so vague that it could potentially be used to punish almost any Russian who has contacts with foreigners

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World
9:29 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Radio Liberty Going Off The Air In Russia

Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 12:42 am

Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Texas Company Charged In Illegal Technology Transfers To Russia

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 12:22 pm

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say they have broken up a ring that allegedly exported sensitive electronic technology to Russia.

Eight people were arrested today in Houston, including Alexander Fishenko, an immigrant from Kazakhstan who built a multi-million dollar export firm called Arc Electrics.

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Europe
12:20 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Opposition Victory Signals New Direction For Georgia

Georgian billionaire and opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) reacts with supporters at his office on Monday. Ivanishvili defeated Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the election, clearing the way for a new government.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:14 pm

Parliamentary elections in Georgia, the former Soviet republic, delivered a resounding defeat for the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday. Preliminary election results showed the opposition winning 57 percent of the vote.

A day later, the president conceded defeat. In a televised address, Saakashvili said he respected the decision of the voters, and that he would clear the way for the opposition Georgian Dream party to form a new government, a move that would install opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili as prime minister.

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Religion
12:08 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

For Hasidic Jews, A Slow, Steady Rebirth In Russia

Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:24 am

About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.

Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits — along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque — on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.

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Europe
9:38 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Educated Russians Often Lured To Leave

Russia is suffering from an exodus of educated, talented citizens, including scientists. Here, scientists rally in Moscow to demand the government increase funding for science last October.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 6:43 am

Russia has been facing troubling demographics ever since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. The population has contracted by several million people over this period. The birth rate is low. Life expectancy for men is still less than 65 years.

And there is also a sense that many educated, talented people are leaving the country.

To take one example, the world of science lit up in July, when a billionaire Internet investor named Yuri Milner announced nine prizes for some of the world's most innovative thinkers in physics.

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World
1:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

In Russia, 200-Year-Old Battle A Day To Remember

Members of historical clubs, dressed as Russian cavalry, advance during the 2010 re-enactment of the 1812 battle between Napoleon's army and Russian troops in Borodino.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 8:08 am

Two hundred years ago this week, Napoleon Bonaparte fought a battle in Russia that may have begun his undoing. He led his Grand Army against the Imperial Russian Army near a village called Borodino, about 70 miles from Moscow.

It was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars, and it's remembered by Russians as a symbol of national courage. An army of re-enactors relived that Sunday.

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Europe
12:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Russian Rockers Get Prison Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Human rights groups are denouncing the sentence handed down today to members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. The group's crimes? It staged a protest in Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral last winter. A judge convicted the three women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced each of them to two years in a labor camp.

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Europe
12:18 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Raid In Russia Brings Underground Sect To Light

Gumar Ganiyev opens the gates of the compound where members of the Islamic sect he belongs to have lived in seclusion since the early 2000s outside Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, earlier this month.
Nikolay Alexandrov AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:41 pm

The recent headlines in the Russian press were sensational: Members of a reclusive Islamic sect were said to be living in an isolated compound with underground burrows, some as deep as eight stories underground, without electricity or heat.

Reporters have descended on the compound, on the outskirts of the city of Kazan, but have had only limited access and have not been able to confirm all the allegations by Russian officials.

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Europe
10:50 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Russia Charges Leading Dissident With Embezzlement

Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media as he arrives for questioning at the headquarters of the Russian Investigation committee in Moscow on Monday.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:54 pm

Government prosecutors in Russia have brought criminal charges against a leading dissident, Alexei Navalny.

Navalny writes a popular blog that points to alleged corruption in the Russian government, and he helped lead the anti-government protests in Moscow this past winter.

He says the charges — that he stole timber from a state-owned company — are part of a campaign to crack down on opposition by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime.

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The Record
11:47 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Feminist Punk Band, Imprisoned For Five Months, Gets Next Gig: Russian Courtroom

Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezha Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center) and Maria Alyokhina, at a hearing in Moscow court on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 12:46 pm

After more than five months in prison, some Russian dissidents are getting their day in court. The three young women are accused of being members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk band that staged a protest against then presidential-candidate Vladimir Putin in February.

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Middle East
1:25 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

Sanctions May Squeeze Iran ... And Raise Oil Prices

European countries have agreed to stop importing Iranian oil as of Sunday. This could make it harder for Iran to find markets for its crude. Iran has been filling up tankers off its coast, but analysts say it could run out of storage capacity. This photo shows oil tankers off Iran's coast in January.
Kamran Jebreili AP

The sanctions noose around Iran is set to tighten Sunday as the European Union imposes a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil.

The new sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to make concessions on its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is limited to peaceful, civilian purposes, but many Western nations believe Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions.

The move against Iran comes at a time when oil prices have been dropping for the past couple of months.

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Europe
10:23 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Months After Protest, Russian Rockers Still Jailed

Women in a Russian punk rock group briefly perform a protest song at Moscow's main cathedral, Christ the Savior, in February. The singers criticized the church and Vladimir Putin, who is now president. Three women have been arrested and jailed for months, and the church is demanding harsh punishment.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:45 pm

The Russian government is facing a growing chorus of criticism over its harsh treatment of three women from an all-female rock band who staged a "punk" prayer service last winter in Moscow's most prominent cathedral.

Back on Feb. 21, two weeks before Russia's presidential election, several members of the band Pussy Riot, wearing brightly colored balaclavas, rushed onto the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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Dead Stop
9:55 pm
Sun June 24, 2012

In Alaskan Cemetery, Native And Orthodox Rites Mix

A spirit house in the Eklutna Cemetery in Alaska.
Diana Derby

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:33 am

The first thing you see at Alaska's Eklutna Cemetery is a tidy white church, with copper-colored onion domes that are topped by the three-barred Russian Orthodox cross.

The church is a reminder of the days when Alaska was claimed by imperial Russia. But it hardly prepares you for the unique combination of Native American and Russian Orthodox influences in the graveyard beyond.

Our guide is Aaron Leggett, who waits patiently under a light but steady rain to explain his community's burial traditions.

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Middle East
10:50 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Syria Creates Hand-Wringing, But No Intervention

A Syrian rebel fires his weapon during clashes with Syrian troops near Idlib, in northern Syria, on June 15. The conflict has gone on for well over a year, but the international community has shown no appetite for a military intervention.
Anonymous AP

The fighting in Syria has been escalating. The U.N. peace effort is in shambles. And there's no appetite right now for outside military intervention.

The Syrian crisis is prompting renewed calls for international action, and there have been plenty of dire warnings and lots of hand-wringing. But after a decade of fighting in the broader region, the United States and its Western allies have shown no interest in getting involved in another military adventure in a Muslim country.

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World
11:50 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Struggling U.S. Economy Drags Down The World

Slow economic growth in the U.S. is having an impact on many countries around the world. Here, people walk past a board flashing the Nikkei index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan last month.
Toru Yamanaka AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 12:38 pm

The sputtering U.S. economy isn't just bad news for America, it's a drag on the global economic outlook as well.

"What matters to the rest of the world is the amount of demand the United States is going to generate," says economist Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell.

"Weak job growth translates to weak domestic demand in the U.S., and that concerns all of the U.S.'s major trading partners," he says.

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Europe
2:42 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Is Now The Time To Vacation In Greece?

Greece depends heavily on tourism, but the economic crisis is driving away visitors like these ones photographing the Acropolis in Athens from the top of a tour bus last October.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 5:08 am

Despite all the chaos and misery of the Greek debt crisis, the country still has some major assets: It's a stunningly beautiful place, with sunny weather, great beaches, ancient marvels and modern amenities.

Greece has been attracting visitors for centuries — at least since Darius the Great led an unsuccessful Persian military package tour about 2,500 years ago.

That didn't work out so well for Darius, who was defeated at the Battle of Marathon.

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National Security
10:30 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Why Do Terrorists So Often Go For Planes?

Despite the multiple layers of security at airports, terrorists still often target planes. But terrorism analysts say they are also concerned about soft targets. Here, a Transportation Security Administration agent looks at an identity card at the Portland International Airport earlier this month.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 11:22 am

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, airports have probably been the most heavily guarded sites when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks.

And yet the most recent terrorism plot in Yemen involved an attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner with a bomber wearing a difficult-to-detect explosive bomb in his underwear, according to U.S. officials.

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National Security
11:50 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Bomb Plot: Secrets Didn't Stay Secret For Long

Information about CIA operations often leaks quickly, and analysts say this can complicate future efforts.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:13 pm

Once upon a time, CIA operations were secret.

But as the latest bomb plot in Yemen shows, little stays hidden for long these days.

In the post-Sept. 11 world, even the most sensitive intelligence operations quickly become daily fodder as the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and media-friendly politicians give the story momentum. And it's often senior government officials and the intelligence community who spread the juiciest details.

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Energy
6:52 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Falling Oil Prices: A Blip Or A Hint Of The Future?

Oil and gas production in the U.S. is rising, and the U.S. is expected to be less dependent on foreign energy in the coming years. This oil drilling rig, shown in October 2011, is outside Watford City, N.D., a state that has seen a boom in energy production.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 10:42 am

World oil prices have been falling recently — and that's good news for oil consumers such as the U.S., Europe and China, and a potential challenge for the big exporters like Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The oil market is notoriously volatile, and the factors driving prices down are temporary. But some energy industry analysts are posing a much larger question: Is the world, and the U.S. in particular, entering a new phase of expanding energy supplies and more moderate prices?

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Asia
12:14 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

The Current U.S.-China Stanoff Has A Precedent

The current case of a prominent Chinese activist seeking U.S. protection has echoes of a similar episode in 1989. Then, physicist Fang Lizhi took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He spent a year there before the U.S. and China reached a deal allowing him to move to the U.S. He died this month in Arizona, at age 76.
John B. Carnett Popular Science via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 12:58 pm

As the U.S. and China seek a solution to the case involving a prominent Chinese activist, it's worth remembering this isn't the first time the two countries have waged this kind of negotiation.

Chen Guangcheng, an activist who's been blind since he was a small boy, escaped house arrest in an eastern Chinese village and was taken to Beijing, where he's believed to be under U.S. protection.

A similar, high-profile case took place in 1989, when astrophysicist Fang Lizhi and his wife took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

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