ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Russian Nobel Peace Prize winner donates his medal to help Ukrainian refugees

Newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov asks auction houses to sell the medal in order to assist ‘peaceful refugees and wounded and sick children who need emergency treatment’

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov of Russia poses with the Nobel Peace Prize diploma and medal during the gala award ceremony for the Nobel Peace prize in Oslo on December 10, 2021. (Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov of Russia poses with the Nobel Peace Prize diploma and medal during the gala award ceremony for the Nobel Peace prize in Oslo on December 10, 2021. (Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

MOSCOW — The joint Russian winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Dmitry Muratov, said Tuesday 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 said 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 wrote.

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

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

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)

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.

Several days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Muratov joined more than 1,000 writers from around the world in expressing solidarity for the people of Ukraine enduring “their darkest hours.”

In a letter organized by the campaign group PEN International, and sent also in Ukrainian and Russian, the authors wrote that they “stand united in condemnation of a senseless war, waged by President Putin’s refusal to accept the rights of Ukraine’s people to debate their future allegiance and history without Moscow’s interference.”

In an online video, Muratov has expressed his “shame” at Putin’s invasion.

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