Corey Flintoff en Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict In the political battle between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest pawns is chocolate.<p>That's because the current front-runner in Ukraine's presidential race is <a href="">Petro Poroshenko</a>, known as "the Chocolate King." His billion-dollar empire was founded on candy factories.<p>Poroshenko's chocolate became a bargaining chip in the confrontation with Russia last July, as Ukraine was moving toward a landmark trade agreement with the European Union. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:01:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 38790 at Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict In Both Moscow And Crimea, The Path Toward Union Made Easier Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The Obama administration's announcement of sanctions comes as Crimea's parliament voted to unite with Russia. It's also called for a referendum on the issue in 10 days. At the same time, lawmakers in Russia began taking steps that could streamline the process of making Crimea a part of Russia.<p>NPR's Corey Flintoff joins us on the line from Moscow. And, Corey, how has this sanctions announcement from the U.S. been received there?<p>COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Well, so far there hasn't been a lot of official reaction, Audie. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:01:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 37181 at The History Of A Once And Future World-Class Resort President Vladimir Putin isn't the first Russian leader to try to create a world-class resort in Sochi. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 36717 at The History Of A Once And Future World-Class Resort Russia's Cossacks Ride Back From History As 'Patriots' 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.<p>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.<p>There was no pretext that the band was violating any laws, and there were no charges filed aga Sat, 22 Feb 2014 17:08:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 36649 at Russia's Cossacks Ride Back From History As 'Patriots' Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator Long before it became an Olympic host city, Sochi was a favorite getaway for one of history's most ruthless dictators: Josef Stalin.<p>The Soviet leader had a villa built in the hills overlooking the Black Sea, and he visited it during some of the most tumultuous years of his reign.<p>The villa, known as Stalin's dacha, or summer house, was built in 1934, and he used it until the end of World War II in 1945. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:33:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 36541 at Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator 'Sports Chaplains' Bring The Gospel To Olympic Village There are probably fewer American fans in Sochi than at previous Winter Games, partly because of concerns about security, and partly because of the time and expense it takes to get to the Russian resort town on the Black Sea.<p>But Americans are represented there, with gusto, by a group of evangelical Christians who call themselves the International Sports Chaplains. Sun, 16 Feb 2014 10:26:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 36349 at 'Sports Chaplains' Bring The Gospel To Olympic Village In Ukraine, Protesters Declare Corruption The Problem Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>And we begin the hour with the volatile political situation in Ukraine. Today, President Viktor Yanukovych added a new concession to the list he has already offered to the opposition. He agreed to scrub anti-protest legislation that recently sparked another wave of unrest against his government. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 21:54:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 35417 at From Kiev To The Country At Large, Ukraine Protests May Spread Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>In Ukraine, it appears that massive protests are escalating. Today, protesters took over a government ministry building in the capital, Kiev, and they've extended their barricades further into the city. At least three protesters have been killed in clashes with riot police. And the protests have spread to other parts of Ukraine, especially in the west. The protests began two months ago when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich backed away from a deal with the European Union and instead tilted toward closer relations with Russia. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:22:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 35292 at Russians Fear A Sochi Legacy Of 'Black Widows,' Not Gold Medals Two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Russian security forces are reportedly searching for potential suicide bombers, at least one of whom may already be in the host city of Sochi.<p>The suspects are thought to be linked to Islamist militants who are fighting to throw off Russian control and create a fundamentalist Muslim state in Russia's North Caucasus Mountains.<p>Police have been circulating leaflets at hotels in Sochi, warning about women who may be part of a terrorist plot.<p>They are known as "black widows," sent to carry out suicide bombings in revenge for husbands or family members ki Fri, 24 Jan 2014 08:35:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 35255 at Russians Fear A Sochi Legacy Of 'Black Widows,' Not Gold Medals As Protests Renew In Ukraine, Fears Of Violence Return Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And now to Ukraine where the crisis is intensifying. Today, there were more clashes between protesters and police in the capital city, Kiev. This after a massive protest turned violent yesterday, when more than 100,000 people turned out to denounce a new law that limits public protests. The protests have shaken Ukraine for two months, as the opposition claims President Viktor Yanukovych is turning increasingly autocratic and aligning his country with Russia.<p>NPR's Corey Flintoff joins me from Moscow to talk about the latest developments. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:07:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 35103 at Russia Aims To Implement The Tightest Security In Olympic History With less than a month to go before the Winter Games, Russian officials are putting the finishing touches on what they say will be the tightest Olympic security in history.<p>After a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in the region, the authorities are deploying high-tech surveillance equipment and tens of thousands of troops in Sochi, the host city on the Black Sea.<p>Sochi is unique among the cities hosting the Winter Games because it has the mild climate of a seaside resort, but it's less than an hour away from the snow-capped mountains of the North Caucasus.<p>But the mountain region is als Wed, 15 Jan 2014 08:03:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 34878 at Russia Aims To Implement The Tightest Security In Olympic History In Russia, A Soviet-Era Movie To Ring In The New Year <p></p><p></p> Tue, 31 Dec 2013 21:13:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 34251 at In Russia, A Soviet-Era Movie To Ring In The New Year Police Move In As Protests Continue In Kiev Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Thousands of riot police jostled with protestors in Ukraine overnight. The protestors want their country to sign a trade deal with the European Union. The elected president of the country does not. At issue here is whether their nation tilts a little more toward Western Europe or toward neighboring Russia. NPR's Corey Flintoff is on the line with us from the scene of these protests. And Corey, what's happening now?<p>COREY FLINTOFF, BYLINE: Hi, Steve. We're at one of the barricades where last night protestors were just faced off with the riot police. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 11:56:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 33350 at Once Victims Of Stalin, Ukraine's Tatars Reassert Themselves In 1944, on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the entire population of Tatars on the Crimean Peninsula was rounded up and sent to the deserts of Soviet Central Asia.<p>Nearly 70 years after that wartime atrocity, the Tatar population is still working to reassert itself in its homeland.<p>Mullah Ziyatdin, 82, was just 12 when he and his family were rousted in the middle of the night, ordered to gather a few belongings and shoved into freight cars for a nightmarish three-week journey. Sat, 23 Nov 2013 12:35:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 32552 at Once Victims Of Stalin, Ukraine's Tatars Reassert Themselves 100 Days To The Sochi Olympics: Some Key Things To Know The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, open in February, just 100 days from now.<p>The games have already given rise to some superlatives: most expensive (at more than $50 billion), most heavily guarded and, potentially, most controversial.<p>Here are key questions surrounding the Sochi games, and some answers:<p><strong>An Islamist militant leader has called on Muslim fighters to attack the Olympics. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:34:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 31315 at 100 Days To The Sochi Olympics: Some Key Things To Know 'Just For Fun,' Lively Song And Dance In Kiev Metro Station The best thing about traveling is that some experiences just crop up spontaneously.<p>Take a recent Saturday evening in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.<p>It's chilly, and people hurry past on their way to clubs and restaurants, their coat collars turned up against the wind.<p>Young women clatter up the steps from the Teatralna metro station, oblivious to the sound that wafts up behind them — the sound of people singing.<p>The steps down to the metro station, one level from the street, lead into a big open space. Sun, 27 Oct 2013 18:10:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 31203 at 'Just For Fun,' Lively Song And Dance In Kiev Metro Station In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive Forests cover about half of Russia's land mass, an environmental resource that President Vladimir Putin calls "the powerful green lungs of the planet."<p>But Putin himself acknowledges that Russia, the world's biggest exporter of logs, is having its timber stolen at an unprecedented rate.<p>The demand for high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging in the Russian Far East. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 16:19:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 30946 at In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive Russia Charges Greenpeace Activists With Piracy Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>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. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 29996 at Forum Discusses Arctic Oil And Gas Searches Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>On the first Monday of the rest of your life, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>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. Mon, 30 Sep 2013 09:28:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 29837 at The U.S. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Murders The U.S. and Russia have been taking lots of jabs at each other.<p>Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized President Obama's plan for a military strike in Syria, and the Russian leader then denounced American "exceptionalism" in a biting op-ed in <em>The New York Times.</em><p>Sen. Sat, 21 Sep 2013 20:36:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 29449 at The U.S. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Murders Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard 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.<p>The crew of the vessel tweeted throughout the drama. <a href="">A tweet by Greenpeace HQ</a> indicated that everyone was safe but that the crew was not "in control of the ship at this point."<p>Greenpeace says that the vessel is in international waters in the Barents Sea. Thu, 19 Sep 2013 20:46:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 29357 at Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard What's Driving Russia's Tactical Change On Syria? For months, Russia has been playing a defensive game on Syria, blocking U.N. Wed, 11 Sep 2013 22:10:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 28943 at What's Driving Russia's Tactical Change On Syria? Loser In Moscow Mayoral Election The One That's Made News Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.<p>The mayor of Moscow is sometimes called the second most powerful official in Russia after President Vladimir Putin. The city of nearly 12 million people is Russia's economic and political capital - think New York City and Washington combined. So the results of yesterday's mayoral election made big news not because, as expected, the race went to the Kremlin-backed incumbent but because the challenger got 27 percent, far better than expected. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:57:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 28811 at Former Soviet Republic's Democratic Transition Questioned Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>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. Thu, 08 Aug 2013 08:31:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 27118 at Migrants Flock To Russia, But Receive A Cool Welcome 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.<p>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. Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:51:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 27074 at Migrants Flock To Russia, But Receive A Cool Welcome Anti-Gay Riot In Tblisi Tests Balance Between Church, State 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.<p>Russia recently <a href="">passed a law</a> that makes it a crime to give information about "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors.<p>Gay-rights advocates say the wording of the law is so vague that it can be used to <a href="">ban gay-pride parades</a> or, in fact, any public discussion Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:58:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 26658 at Anti-Gay Riot In Tblisi Tests Balance Between Church, State Public Opinion May Give Russia An Edge In Snowden Case Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he doesn't want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to harm relations between Russia and the United States.<p>But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport.<p>A Putin spokesman said Friday that the issue is being discussed by the Russian federal security service — the FSB — and the FBI, but it may be that Snowden has become a problem that can only be solved at the top of the two governments.<p>For its part, the Obama administration seems to be trying to chip awa Sat, 27 Jul 2013 10:16:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 26488 at Public Opinion May Give Russia An Edge In Snowden Case Russia Conducts Record Military Exercises Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>Today, Russia is wrapping up its biggest military maneuver since the Soviet era, an exercise that's designed to test its military readiness on land, sea and in the air. Sat, 20 Jul 2013 11:54:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 24340 at Russian Opposition Leader Convicted Amid Controversy A Russian court has convicted one of the country's most prominent opposition leaders of embezzlement. Alexei Navalny faces a sentence of five years in prison in a controversial case that he says was trumped up to derail his political career. Navalny was instrumental in organizing mass protests against the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 24261 at The Secret To Georgian Grilled Meats? Grapevines And Lots Of Wine Tucked between Russia and Turkey, the Republic of Georgia is renowned for great food: cheese dishes, pickles, breads and stews. This is a cuisine that you should not miss.<p>And on summer evenings in the capital, Tbilisi, the air is fragrant with the smells of one of Georgian cookery's highlights: grilled meat, or shashlik.<p>You can find good shashlik at restaurants with white tablecloths, but the very best in all Tbilisi is said to be at a roadside stop called Mtsvadi Tsalamze. Mon, 15 Jul 2013 21:18:00 +0000 Corey Flintoff 24044 at The Secret To Georgian Grilled Meats? Grapevines And Lots Of Wine