Russian journalist’s Nobel Peace Prize sells for $103.5 million at auction to help Ukraine’s children

June 21 (Reuters) – 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov and editor-in-chief of one of Russia’s last major independent newspapers has sold his Nobel medal for a record $103.5 million to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine. .

Heritage Auctions, which conducted the auction in New York, said in a statement that all proceeds from the auction, which coincided with World Refugee Day on Monday, will benefit UNICEF’s humanitarian response to homeless children in Ukraine.

Muratov’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which is highly critical of President Vladimir Putin and his government, suspended operations in Russia in March after warnings from the state about its coverage of the war in Ukraine. Read more

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Pressures on liberal Russian media have continued under Putin, Russia’s supreme leader since 1999, but escalated after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. Muratov was attacked with red paint in April. Read more ]

The main Russian media and state-controlled organizations are closely following the language the Kremlin uses to describe the conflict with Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation” to ensure Russian security and discredit its neighbor. Kyiv and its Western allies say it is an unjustified war of aggression.

According to US media reports, the Muratov Prize auction broke the record for any Nobel medal ever auctioned, with the previous highest bid reportedly selling just under $5 million.

“This prize is unlike any other auction offered,” Heritage Auctions said in a statement before the sale.

“Mr. Muratov, with the full support of his staff at Novaya Gazeta, allows us to auction his medal not as a collectible but as an event that he hopes will have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Ukrainian refugees.”

Muratov, who co-founded Novaya Gazeta in 1991, won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize with Maria Ressa of the Philippines for what the Nobel Prize Committee described as “their efforts to protect freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace.”

Muratov, who has pledged to donate about $500,000 of this prize money to charities, dedicated the Nobel Prize to the six Novaya Gazeta journalists murdered since 2000.

That list included journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of the Russian war in Chechnya, who was killed in 2006 in the elevator of her apartment building in Moscow.

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Melbourne press coverage by Lydia Kelly; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Michael Berry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.