This Russian journalist auctions Nobel Prize to help Ukrainian kids

In 2021, Muratov was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for defending Russian freedom of expression. Last year, he and journalist Maria Ressa, who co-founded the Philippines' online news site Rappler, shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
This Russian journalist auctions Nobel Prize to help Ukrainian kids
Dmitry MuratovReuters

CHENNAI: Nobel Prize winning Russian journalist, Dmitry Muratov put up his gold medal for auction to help the children affected by the war in Ukraine. He is the editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

The auction was lively, with much cheering and bidders encouraging one another to increase the amount. Muratov was seen filming the bidding screen as well as those in the room. At a Heritage Auctions sale in New York, the medal was sold to an as-yet-unidentified phone bidder.

Many in the room, including Muratov, were taken aback when the final price came in, which was tens of millions of dollars higher than the prior offer.

In 2021, Muratov was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for defending Russian freedom of expression. Last year, he and journalist Maria Ressa, who co-founded the Philippines' online news site Rappler, shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

Both Ressa and Muratov are recognised for publishing investigations that enraged their respective governments' leaders, and have become symbols of the fight for press freedom. Muratov was one among the journalists who formed Novaya Gazeta after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1993.

Novaya Gazeta's operations were halted in March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. It became the only major daily left this year to criticise President Vladimir Putin and his actions both inside and outside Russia. Muratov was assaulted on a train in April when someone splashed oil-based paint mixed with acetone in his face, burning his eyes.

Bidders could purchase Muratov's medal in person or online, with all revenues benefiting UNICEF's Humanitarian Response for Ukrainian Children Displaced by War.

Muratov explained why he chose UNICEF as the receiver of the funds: "It's critical to us that that organisation does not belong to any government. It can work above the government. There are no borders for it."

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