Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro is an NPR international correspondent based in London. An award-winning journalist, his reporting covers a wide range of topics and can be heard on all of NPR's national news programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Prior to his current post, Shapiro reported from the NPR Washington Desk as White House Correspondent during President Barack Obama's first and second terms, as Justice Correspondent during the George W. Bush administration and as a regular guest host on NPR's newsmagazines. He is also a frequent analyst on CNN, PBS, NBC and other television news outlets.

Shapiro's reporting has consistently won national accolades. The Columbia Journalism Review recognized him with a laurel for his investigation into disability benefits for injured American veterans. The American Bar Association awarded him the Silver Gavel for exposing the failures of Louisiana's detention system after Hurricane Katrina. He was the first recipient of the American Judges' Association American gavel Award, recognizing a body of work on U.S. courts and the American justice system. And at age 25, Shapiro won the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for an investigation of methamphetamine use and HIV transmission.

An occasional singer, Shapiro makes guest appearances with the "little orchestra" Pink Martini, whose recent albums feature several of his contributions. Since his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009, Shapiro has performed live at many of the world's most storied venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, L'Olympia in Paris, and Mount Lycabettus in Athens.

Shapiro graduated from Yale University magna cum laude and began his journalism career in the office of NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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It's All Politics
12:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

U.S. Spinmeisters Gear Up For Big Election ... Britain's Election

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Ed Miliband, speaks to supporters earlier this month in London. His party and the ruling Conservative Party have both hired former advisers to President Obama in advance of Britain's national election next year.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

In 2000, Jeff Shesol was nearing the end of his stint as a White House speechwriter for President Clinton. He went to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where he met a young staffer from Britain's Labour Party. They struck up a friendship.

"And so almost immediately after the Clinton administration had ended, I got a call to come over and begin writing speeches," Shesol says. "Before long, Labour was in the throes of its campaign, and I was stationed there along with them."

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Parallels
3:37 am
Wed May 7, 2014

In Ukraine's Corridors Of Power, An Effort To Toss Out The Old

An activist waves the Ukrainian national flag at Independence Square on April 6.
Valentyn Ogirenko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 10:57 am

The first time I saw the word "lustration," I thought it was a case of bad translation from Ukrainian. In Kiev, a flyer advertised a talk by the head of parliament's "lustration" committee.

"What does this word mean in English?" I asked a press aide.

"I don't know the English word for it, but it will be an interesting speech," he replied.

And indeed, it was.

Weeks later, Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College in London, explained to me that lustration actually is an English word.

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Europe
4:25 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Sinn Fein Leader's Questioning Dredges Memories Of 'Troubles'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 6:35 pm

Gerry Adams, a leader of Sinn Fein, was questioned in Northern Ireland in connection with an infamous murder 42 years ago. The investigation threatens to impact the fragile peace agreement there.

World
5:18 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Leaflets Given To Donetsk Jews Made Waves Worldwide, But Not In Donetsk

An anti-fascist sign hangs on the barricade outside an occupied government building in Donetsk.
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

A development in Eastern Ukraine has set social media on fire and triggered outrage around the world.

In the city of Donetsk, someone distributed fliers ordering Jews to register with the separatists who have taken over government buildings.

Even though nobody in Ukraine believed the leaflet was real, the fliers hit a nerve.

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Europe
4:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Opposing Protests Pull Eastern Ukraine In Two Directions

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:06 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The deal struck in Geneva today aims to end the violence Ukraine has seen over the last few months. There were snipers shooting at protesters in Kiev's Independence Square. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists forced their way through police barricades to overtake government buildings. But not every protest has been violent. Today, people who oppose the separatists staged a demonstration in the city of Donetsk, and NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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News
4:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ukrainian Tanks Roll In — But Above Them Russian Flags Fly

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:20 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. We begin this hour with the latest from eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is continuing an operation to oust pro-Russian militants from occupied government buildings, but today, it experienced a setback. Ukraine's defense department confirms that some of its armored personnel carriers began flying the Russian flag. NPR's Ari Shapiro went to investigate.

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Europe
6:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Tank Movement Increases Tensions In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tensions remain very high this morning in Eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia demonstrators stormed the city hall in the city of Donetsk. And there are now reports this morning of several Ukrainian armored personnel carriers on the move in some cities flying Russian flags. To try and sort out what's going on, we have NPR's Ari Shapiro on the line. He is in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. Ari, good morning.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, David.

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News
4:00 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ukraine's Army Launches Campaign Against Eastern Militants

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Ukraine's army began a "special operation" in the east of the country Tuesday, moving against pro-Russian militants who are occupying government offices across the region.

Parallels
6:03 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Ukrainian Jews Celebrate Passover In Uncertain Times

Many Jews protested in Kiev's Independence Square and see a thread connecting ancient Egypt to modern-day Ukraine. "We started our liberation 3,000 years ago, and we still are in the process," says Rabbi Alexander Duchovny.
Peter Klaunzer EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 8:02 pm

At Passover celebrations around the world tonight, the youngest child will sing a song in Hebrew. "Why," the youngster will ask, "is this night different from all other nights?"

Adults in Ukraine can ask a similar question this year: What makes this Passover different from all others? It's a question Rabbi Alexander Duchovny has been thinking about a lot. "Passover is z'man cheruteinu, time of our liberty — time of freedom," he says. "And especially for Ukrainian Jewry, and for Ukrainians, this is a time of liberty."

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News
4:27 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Defiant Of Deadline, Pro-Moscow Occupiers Persist

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. In eastern Ukraine, people are bracing for possible war. The government gave a deadline of this morning for pro-Russian separatists to lay down their weapons. Instead, the demonstrators took over still more government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities. Ukraine's president has promised to send in the army to retake this region near the Russian border.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from the city of Donetsk.

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Europe
10:34 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Between Friends, Family And Country, Ukrainian Police Lie Low

Pro-Russian activists sit at a barricade at the regional administration building in Donetsk on Wednesday. Police have been conspicuously absent at Eastern Ukraine protest sites.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:33 pm

At occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine, there is plenty of razor wire, sandbags and Molotov cocktails.

One thing is conspicuously absent, though — law enforcement.

When protests in Eastern Ukraine started on Sunday, police were everywhere.

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News
4:30 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

The Ukrainian Prime Minister's Visit, As Seen From Behind Barricades

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 8:13 pm

Ukraine's interim prime minister visited Donetsk Friday in an effort to reduce tensions in the east of the country. Pro-Moscow militants among the area's largely Russian-speaking population have seized two government buildings in the region and are demanding referendums on the area's future. NPR's Ari Shapiro has been behind the barricades at one of the occupations.

The Two-Way
7:18 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine

Pro-Russian protesters surround a barricade made by used tires and barbed wire Friday in Donetsk, Ukraine. Pro-Russian protesters took control of the government building and have held it since Sunday.
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 1:36 am

In Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk, activists who want to align the country more with Russia seized a regional administration building in the center of town last weekend. NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro went inside the building Friday and reports on what it was like:

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Parallels
5:00 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

God Save The Queen — And Donetsk, Too?

The online "God Save The Queen" campaign that started as a joke called for Donetsk to hold a referendum on whether to join Great Britain. Eventually, it was shut down: for being anti-Russian.
Novosti Donbassa

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:16 am

The eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk has been the center of a standoff since Sunday, with demonstrators pleading for the city to join Russia, while government leaders insist it will remain part of Ukraine.

In the midst of this tug-of-war, there's a third country that may have a claim on the city — though admittedly, a much looser one.

"God Save The Queen" isn't just the British national anthem, it's also the name of a campaign to bring Donetsk under the sheltering wing of Her Majesty's United Kingdom.

(You read that correctly: the UK. Stay with us here.)

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Parallels
3:37 am
Thu April 10, 2014

In Ukraine's Rust Belt, A Mix Of Nostalgia And Nationalism

In the rundown Ukrainian town of Perewalsk, near the Russian border, 80-year-old Lida Vasilivna has just planted a garden. "Business just went belly up," she says about her town's hard times, after asking, "Are you gonna put this granny on TV?"
Ari Shapiro/NPR

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 9:55 am

To say that the town of Perewalsk in eastern Ukraine has fallen on hard times would be an enormous understatement. The small industrial town near the Russian border is a collection of concrete buildings with no windows, falling-down houses and empty, abandoned factories; there's a chemical smell in the air.

In the middle of this dystopian landscape, there's an even more unexpected sight: an 80-year-old woman in a bright purple coat and headscarf, happily digging with a shovel in the dirt.

She introduces herself as Lida Vasilivna.

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Parallels
5:02 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Ukrainian Protesters Seize Weapons, Raising The Stakes

A pro-Russian activist speaks at the Security Services building, which was seized in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. The standoff is one of three taking place in the region, and Luhansk is considered particularly volatile because the Security Services building contains many weapons.
Igor Golovniov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:48 pm

The drive to Luhansk takes you past fields of corn and sunflowers that are just beginning to sprout. You pass the town of Yennakieva, where the ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was born. Eventually the fields give way to factories, and about 15 miles from the border with Russia, you hit the industrial city of Luhansk.

Police have blocked off the center of town. The last few blocks to the heart of the protest, at the occupied security services building, is a journey by foot, past graffiti that say, "Luhansk is a Russian City."

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Parallels
3:40 am
Wed April 9, 2014

In Eastern Ukraine, Normality Rules Except At Ground Zero

Emir Gushinov (in green) says not many children are taking his pony rides in Donetsk nowadays. But he said that's not because of the unrest nearby. "The main reason is that it's not a holiday," he says.
Ari Shapiro/NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:02 am

In the eastern city of Donetsk, protesters hung a huge banner declaring a government office building to be the "People's Republic of Donetsk."

These pro-Moscow activists want to pull away from Europe and align Ukraine more with Russia. The protests in Donetsk and elsewhere in eastern Ukraine are the focus of the ongoing crisis in the country and it has international repercussions that reach well beyond the country's borders.

Yet life in the rest of Donetsk is going on completely as normal.

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Parallels
1:31 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Ukraine's Winter Of Discontent Gives Way To Spring Of Austerity

Two men play chess in Kiev's Independence Square on Feb. 11. Ukraine's economy is ailing, and the country is facing austerity measures in exchange for an IMF loan. Meanwhile, Russia says it will sharply increase gas prices.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 7:29 pm

After a long winter of protests, Ukrainian activists overthrew their president in February. Now, Ukrainians are staring at the bill they have to pay.

The International Monetary Fund is demanding that Ukraine's new government implement austerity measures in exchange for loans. Russia is threatening to raise Ukraine's heating gas prices by 80 percent. Taken together, this could further squeeze ordinary Ukrainians, some of whom are already getting by with almost nothing.

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Europe
5:12 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Cleaning Around Barricades, Kiev Protesters Still Camping In Square

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 6:19 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

In the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, hundreds of people are still camped out in Independence Square known as the Maidan. They say they'll stay, at least through next month's presidential elections, to push for greater reform. In February, violent protests in the Maidan toppled the president and left dozens dead. Today, though, the cloud of black dust over the square was from dozens of brooms sweeping. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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World
4:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

In Brussels, Obama Seeks Broader Support For Ukraine

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. American solidarity with Europe was on display today as President Obama visited Brussels. Days after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the president met with leaders of NATO and the European Union, and he gave a speech to a concern hall packed with university students. In that speech, Obama stood firm on his response to the crisis in Ukraine.

NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president.

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Europe
5:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Ukraine Crisis, NSA Eavesdropping Dominate Summit Discussions

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:39 am

President Obama is in Brussels for meetings with NATO and the European Union. Events on the sideline of Tuesday's nuclear summit at The Hague have eclipsed the nuclear agenda itself.

News
4:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

At Nuclear Summit, Ukraine Questions Dominate The Day

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama wrapped up a two-day nuclear security summit in The Hague today. He's been operating on two tracks on this trip. At the summit, he's been urging countries to get rid of their nuclear material. On the sidelines, he's been organizing the global community to isolate Russia, following it's annexation of Crimea.

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News
4:07 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Crimea Casts Long Shadow In Amsterdam, Where G7 Leaders Meet

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 6:46 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

To the Netherlands now, where more than 50 world leaders are attending a major nuclear summit. That group includes President Obama who landed in Amsterdam this morning. The crisis in Ukraine hangs over this trip, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from The Hague.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Moments after Air Force One touched down, President Obama was walking through the cavernous hallways of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam's temple to fine art.

PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE: (Foreign language spoken)

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Parallels
12:27 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Which Artwork Is A Metaphor For The Current Global Condition?

President Obama and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shake hands in front of Rembrandt's Night Watch after speaking to the press following meetings at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on Monday. Which artwork in the museum best captures the current global mood?
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:41 pm

President Obama is doing serious work in Europe this week, meeting with the G-7, NATO and the EU to discuss Russia's actions in Ukraine. He's also joining leaders from more than 50 countries in The Hague to talk about keeping nuclear weapons away from terrorists. But before the intense negotiations got underway, he launched this trip with a bit of culture.

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World
5:06 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:45 am

President Obama goes to The Hague for a nuclear security summit Monday. Although the crisis in Ukraine is overshadowing the event, there is a packed agenda independent of the tensions with Russia. This is the third time world leaders have met to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.

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