Russian Nobel laureate donates medal to auction for Ukraine refugees

Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov from Russia speaks during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Hall, Norway, Dec. 10, 2021 (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov from Russia speaks during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Hall, Norway, Dec. 10, 2021 (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW — The joint Russian winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Dmitry Muratov, says he will donate his medal to help Ukrainian refugees.

Muratov, editor of Russia’s leading opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was awarded the 2021 prize alongside Maria Ressa of the Philippines for their efforts “to safeguard freedom of expression.”

Writing on Telegram, he says that he and the newspaper had decided to donate the gold medal to a fund to help Ukrainian refugees.

“We ask auction houses that can put this world-famous award on sale to get in contact,” he writes.

Muratov says he wants to share the medal “with peaceful refugees and wounded and sick children who need emergency treatment.”

In his message, the journalist also calls for a ceasefire and prisoner exchange, the return of the bodies of those killed and provision of humanitarian corridors and aid.

Novaya Gazeta said after conflict broke out in Ukraine it would not cover the events, citing new legislation on reporting on the military, which means media must describe Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “military operation.”

The legal move is part of Moscow’s crackdown on independent media and online platforms since the conflict broke out.

Last week, Novaya Gazeta’s front page showed an image of the protest by a news editor who held up a poster condemning Russia’s actions during a state television news broadcast, while it blurred out part of the poster’s slogan.

Novaya Gazeta has become one of the few remaining media outlets publishing viewpoints in opposition to the Kremlin.

Since 2000 it has seen six of its journalists and contributors killed, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya.

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