Nobel Winner Selling Medal for Noble Reasons

Russia's Dmitry Muratov, who won peace prize last year, wants funds raised to assist Ukraine refugees
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2022 10:10 AM CDT
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Selling Medal to Help Ukrainians
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov, from Russia, attends a press conference in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 11, 2021.   (Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB scanpix via AP)

People from all over the world are donating where they can to help the millions of refugees streaming out of Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion there—but very few have Nobel Peace Prize gold they can hawk to free up some funds. Russia's Dmitry Muratov is one of that elite group, and on Tuesday he announced he's putting the medal he won in 2021 on the auction block to raise money for those being displaced in Ukraine, reports Radio Free Europe. "I ask the auction houses to respond," Muratov wrote in a tweet announcing his decision.

Muratov—the 60-year-old editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, who's described by the Washington Post as "all but the last man standing between Putin and an independent media in Russia"—won the peace prize last year for his efforts to keep journalism thriving and free of censorship, along with the Philippines' Maria Ressa, who runs the Rappler news website. Both RFE and the Post note the restrictive parameters that Muratov is now forced to work within, as Russia earlier this month put into place a new censorship law that warns journalists could see 15 years behind bars if they publish "false information" about the war in Ukraine, including calling it a "war" or "invasion."

As he continues to toe that line—he has acquiesced to calling what's going on in Ukraine a "special operation" (in quotation marks), as the Russian government has demanded—Muratov hopes whatever money he can raise from his Nobel Peace Prize medal can help as many Ukrainian refugees as possible. He noted in his tweet that there are more than 10 million of them so far. The United Nations backs up that stat of those who've been displaced within Ukraine or left the country entirely, though that mention was two days ago, meaning that number has likely increased since. Much more here on the pressure Muratov finds himself under as he tries to cover a war he decries. (More Ukrainian refugees stories.)

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