Dmitry Muratov, the Russian editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, on Monday auctioned his gold medal for the Nobel Peace Prize for a staggering $103.5 million to benefit children displaced by the war in Ukraine.
The medal was sold to an unidentified telephone bidder at the New York auction hosted by Heritage Auctions.
Muratov won the award in 2021 along with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines, with the committee honoring them “for their efforts to ensure freedom of expression”.
He belonged to a group of journalists who founded Novaya Gazeta in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union.
This year, it became the only major newspaper to criticize President Vladimir Putin and his tactics inside and outside the country.
In March, more than a month after Moscow’s invasion of Moscow, Novaya Gazeta suspended operations in Russia after Moscow passed legislation providing for harsh prison terms against anyone who criticized the Kremlin’s bloody military campaign.
Muratov’s medal was available to bidders both in person and online, with all proceeds going to UNICEF’s humanitarian aid for Ukrainian children displaced by war.
In April, Muratov was attacked on a train when a person threw oil-based paint mixed with acetone on him, causing his eyes to burn.
Since 2000, six journalists and employees of Novaya Gazeta have been murdered in connection with their work, including investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
Muratov has dedicated his Nobel Prize to their memory.
“This newspaper is dangerous for people’s lives,” Muratov told AFP last year. “We’re not going anywhere.”
The prominent journalist said in a video released by Heritage that winning the Nobel “gives you a chance to be heard”.
“The most important message today is that people understand that war is going on and that we need to help those who are suffering the most,” he continued, pointing specifically to children in refugee families.
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