Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

International correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin and covers Central Europe for NPR. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

She was previously based in Cairo and covered the Arab World for NPR from the Middle East to North Africa. Nelson returns to Egypt on occasion to cover the tumultuous transition to democracy there.

In 2006, Nelson opened the NPR Kabul Bureau. During the following three and a half years, she gave listeners in an in-depth sense of life inside Afghanistan, from the increase in suicide among women in a country that treats them as second class citizens to the growing interference of Iran and Pakistan in Afghan affairs. For her coverage of Afghanistan, she won a Peabody Award, Overseas Press Club Award and the Gracie in 2010. She received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award from Colby College in 2011 for her coverage in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Nelson spent 20 years as newspaper reporter, including as Knight Ridder's Middle East Bureau Chief. While at the Los Angeles Times, she was sent on extended assignment to Iran and Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She spent three years an editor and reporter for Newsday and was part of the team that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for covering the crash of TWA Flight 800.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Nelson speaks Farsi, Dari and German.

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Europe
4:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Ukraine's Oligarchs Still Entwine Business With Politics

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:41 am

The leading candidate in Sunday's presidential election is an oligarch. And the interim government is turning to other oligarchs to help restore calm in some crisis-plagued provinces.

Europe
4:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Eastern Ukraine Muddles Through Voting On Referendums

Separatists in the eastern Ukraine regions of Donetsk and Luhansk asked voters to take part in an unauthorized referendum Sunday on whether to make their region independent.

Europe
3:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

On Victory Day, Fanfare In Crimea And Turmoil In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Vladimir Putin travelled to Crimea today to mark the anniversary of Russia's victory in the Second World War. It was his first time there since the peninsula was annexed by Russia. His visit was criticized by the Ukrainian government and Washington, but Putin told Crimeans that by being together with Russia, they're stronger.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking foreign language)

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Europe
4:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

In Ukraine, Two Men Claim To Be The Leader Of Donetsk

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine say they are going ahead with an independence referendum on Sunday. The pro-Western government in the capital, Kiev, argues this vote would be illegal. And this all has many Ukrainians worried about what happens next. This next story shows how far apart the two sides are. Two men each claim to be the leader of the region called Donetsk.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports on both.

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Europe
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Spurning Putin's Calls For Delay, Ukrainian Separatists Forge Ahead

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists have decided to go ahead with Sunday's referendum on independence. That's despite Russian President Vladimir Putin urging them yesterday to postpone that vote. Here's the self-declared governor in the eastern region of Donetsk earlier today.

VALERY BOLOTOV: (Foreign language spoken)

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Europe
4:04 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Ukrainian Troops Battle Pro-Russian Insurgents

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Let's get an update now on a struggle starting to look more like a war in Ukraine. At least four Ukrainian soldiers and 30 pro-Russian fighters have been killed in this latest round of fighting as the government tries to retake cities near the border with Russia. Several Ukrainian helicopters have been shot down by well-armed separatists.

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Europe
4:17 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Violent Protests Spread From Eastern Ukraine South To Odessa

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 8:28 am

Tensions remain high in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine. Violence has led to the worst death toll since February, including more than 30 pro-Russian separatists who died in a building fire.

Europe
3:13 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Deaths And Downed Helicopters In Eastern Ukraine Offensive

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:17 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Europe
3:13 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

For Separatists, Ballots Are On Their Way — But Plans Are Still Pending

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:32 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Europe
3:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Ukraine's Acting President: We've Lost Control Of East

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Ukraine's interim president says his military forces have lost control of the eastern part of the country. That declaration today came after masked separatists captured government offices in a key provincial capital. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in the city of Donetsk in the east where separatists also wield control.

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