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Russian journalist to auction his Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise money for Ukrainian refugees

The Novaya Gazeta editor clashed with the Russian government on many issues including corruption, electoral fraud and human rights violations.

Russian journalist to auction his Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise money for Ukrainian refugees
Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta protesting killing of journalists in front of the Russian embassy on January 21,

The Russian journalist who won last year's Nobel Peace Prize has announced that he will be auctioning his medal to raise money for Ukrainian refugees. Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov made the announcement after Russian forces attacked Ukraine displacing millions of Ukrainians. Muratov said he decided to sell the medal after seeing "wounded and sick children" requiring "urgent treatment," as per a statement published on the newspaper's website, reported CNN. Muratov was awarded the honor in 2021 along with Filipino American journalist Maria Ressa "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace," noted the Nobel Prize website. 



As per the statement published on Novaya Gazeta's website, the proceeds from the sale will go to The Foundation of Assistance to the Ukrainian Refugees, an NGO that provides support to refugees from Ukraine. "Novaya Gazeta and I have decided to donate the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Medal to the Ukrainian Refugee Fund," he wrote, as per Google's English translation. "There are already over 10 million refugees. I ask the auction houses to respond and put up for auction this world-famous award." Muratov also called for a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners, release of the bodies of the dead, provide humanitarian corridors and assistance, and support refugees. He added that the money should be shared "with refugees, the wounded, and children who need urgent treatment."

OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: A plaque depicting Alfred Nobel adorns the wall during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Town Hall on December 10, 2015 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)


“I am convinced that freedom of conscience, together with the other civic rights, provides the basis for progress," said Muratov in his Nobel prize-winning speech. "I defend the thesis of the decisive significance of civic and political rights in molding the destiny of mankind! I am convinced that international confidence, disarmament, and international security are inconceivable without an open society with freedom of information, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech. Peace, progress, human rights — these three goals are insolubly linked to one another.”


Dmitry Muratov started out as a journalist for Soviet newspapers and helped co-found Novaya Gazeta in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991. The Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev supported the newspaper financially and became co-owner in 2006. Novaya Gazeta is a strong advocate for democracy and freedom of expression and has been a constant thorn to Putin's government. Muratov has been the editor-in-chief for the majority of the years since 1995. The newspaper has criticized the Russian government on various matters including corruption, electoral fraud, and human rights violations. Six of the newspaper’s journalists have been murdered because they wrote critical articles on Russian military operations in Chechnya and the Caucasus. The prominent of them is Anna Politkovskaya. Putin's government has also censored Novaya Gazeta's articles on the attack on Ukraine.


This week President Zelenskyy urged the NATO alliance to provide "effective and unrestricted" support to Ukraine, including any weapons. "Yes, it is true — we are not in the alliance," said Zelenskyy, reported CBS News. "It feels like we are in the 'gray zone' between the West and Russia. But we defend all our common values. And we are bright people! And we have been defending all these values for a month now! A month of heroic resistance. A month of the darkest suffering." 


World leaders gathered at NATO headquarters to discuss new sanctions against Russia and also mulled providing more military aid for Ukraine. European Union nations signed off on another $550 million in military aid for Ukraine while the White House announced it was committing another $1 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees. The US also confirmed it would welcome 100,000 Ukrainians.

Russia's attack on Ukraine is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

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