Nobel peace prize winner Dmitry Muratov has sold his Nobel medal on an auction for USD 103 million announcing that the money will go to UNICEF helping children in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. The buyer’s name has not been announced.
Muratov is editor-in-chief of Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta that closed its operations in Russia after pressure from the government disagreeing with the newspaper’s reporting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
His 2021 Nobel Peace Prize medal was sold through New York-based Heritage Auctions to benefit children and their families forced to flee Ukraine and those internally displaced since the start of the war in February. The auction was held on World Refugee Day, June 20.
“The editors of Novaya Gazeta decided it was necessary to help those in desperate need,” Muratov says in a statement.
“A Nobel Prize gives you an important world stage and microphone,” Muratov says. “It doesn’t guarantee you safety, but it allows you to be heard. The message we must convey is that there is a war going on, and we need to help those who are suffering most right now.”
Muratov in 1993 co-founded Novaya Gazeta that has challenged authorities wit its independence. In 2021 he received the Nobel Peace Prize together with Filipino journalist Maria Ressa for their “fight for freedom of expression in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”
In March 2022, Muratov was forced to suspend publication of Novaya Gazeta in Russia after receiving a second warning from the government agency charged with monitoring Russian news media. He was wounded when an attacker splashed him with red paint and chemicals.
Muratov was recently named one of TIME100’s Most Influential People of 2022.