Sasha Chavkin

Sasha Chavkin is a staff reporter for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. He specializes in investigative reporting, international affairs and exposing abuses of the public trust by institutions that serve vulnerable communities.

Donald Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his Russian business ties

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross benefits from business ties to Putin’s inner circle U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions of dollars a year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle. Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, divested most of his business assets before joining Presi

Commerce Secretary’s Offshore Ties to Putin ‘Cronies’

In addition to Mr. Ross, the files contain references to other members of the Trump administration, including Gary D. Cohn, the chief economic adviser who was associated with 22 Bermuda entities while an executive at Goldman Sachs, and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, who was a director of a Bermuda-based joint venture with the government of Yemen when he ran Exxon Mobil’s operations there. There is no evidence of illegality in any of their dealings. Mr. Ross emerges as a particularly value

Trump’s organization did business with Iranian bank later linked to terrorism

Donald Trump’s real estate organization rented New York office space from 1998 to 2003 to an Iranian bank that U.S. authorities have linked to terrorist groups and Iran’s nuclear program. Trump inherited Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, as a tenant when he purchased the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, according to public records reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity. The Trump Orga

How a World Bank Translator Became a Hunted Man

Human rights advocates criticize the bank for failing to speak up about the jailing of a former employee Pastor Omot Agwa knew he was in danger. “Greetings from Ethiopia in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” he wrote in an online message to friends and colleagues on March 11, 2015. “I am informing you that since yesterday I have been hunted by security.” The gentle, round-faced church leader had long been an embarrassment to Ethiopia’s authoritarian regime. As a prominent leader of the Anuak

World Bank’s Business-Lending Arm Backed Palm Oil Producer Amid Deadly Land War

Glenda Chávez stands beside the grave of her father, the preacher Gregorio Chávez, whose body was discovered on Dinant’s Paso Aguán plantation in July 2012. PANAMÁ VILLAGE, Honduras — Glenda Chávez walks between the orange trees of her family’s grove, approaching a low wire fence that divides her property from Corporación Dinant’s Paso Aguán plantation. On Dinant’s side of the fence, rows of spiky palm oil trees stretch for miles across the green landscape of northern Honduras. “Here,” she say

How the World Bank Broke Its Promise to Protect the Poor

Beneath a gloomy white sky, more than 100 armed police poured into the slum of Badia East in the teeming megacity of Lagos, Nigeria. As they advanced, they cracked their batons on the unpaved streets and against the ramshackle walls of the shanties. “If you love your life, move out!” the officers shouted. Thousands of people grabbed what belongings they could carry and fled. Then a line of hulking excavators moved in, using their hydraulic claws to smash homes into pieces. Within hours, the

As kidney disease kills thousands across continents, scientists scramble for answers

SANDAMALGAMA, Sri Lanka — In this tiny Sri Lankan village, rice farmer Wimal Rajaratna sits cross-legged on a wooden bed, peering out toward lush palm trees that surround his home. Listless and weak, the 46-year old father of two anxiously awaits word on whether his body can accept a kidney donation that offers his only chance of survival. In Uddanam, India, a reed-thin farmer named Laxmi Narayna prepares for the grueling two-day journey he takes twice every week. For most of his 46 years, his

Thousands of sugar cane workers die as wealthy nations stall on solutions

Maudiel Martinez is 19 years old and has a shy smile, a tangle of curly black hair and a lean, muscular build shaped by years of work in the sugarcane fields. For most of his adolescence, he was healthy and strong and spent his days chopping tall stalks of cane with his machete. Now Martinez is suffering from a deadly disease that is devastating his community along with scores of others in Central America, where it has decimated the ranks of sugarcane workers. The same illness killed his father

Education Department Bureaucracy Keeps Disabled Borrowers in Debt

This article is a collaboration among ProPublica and the Center for Public Integrity, which are independent nonprofit investigative newsrooms; and the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, at Columbia University. It was co-published with the Chronicle of Higher Education. Tina Brooks can't sit or stand for more than half an hour before the pain in her lower back becomes intolerable. She suffers severe headaches and memory loss, and she has lost most of the vision in her left eye. Five d