Russian journalist sells his Nobel Peace prize for $103.5m to help children in Ukraine
Dmitry Muratov won the award in 2021 for protecting 'freedom of expression in Russia'
A Russian journalist has raised $103.5 million (£84.5m) to help Ukrainian children impacted by the invasion by auctioning off his Nobel Peace prize.
Dmitry Muratov, who was the co-winner of the prestigious award in 2021, sold his award on Monday, with proceeds reportedly going to UNICEF's humanitarian response for Ukraine's displaced children.
Heritage Auctions did not reveal who the winning bidder was, but it is the highest amount the award has even been auctioned off for. The previous highest sale being $5 million.
Before the auction, the auction house issued a statement that read: "This award is unlike any other auction offering to present. "Mr. Muratov, with the full support of his staff at Novaya Gazeta, is allowing us to auction his medal not as a collectable but as an event that he hopes will positively impact the lives of millions of Ukrainian refugees."
In New York the auction where editor-in-chief of “Novaya Gazeta” Dmitry Muratov plans to sell his Nobel Peace prize is about to begin. All profits from the sale will support UNICEF's humanitarian response for Ukrainian refugees. pic.twitter.com/TNwyyUBJJp
— Novaya Gazeta. Europe (@novayagazeta_en) June 20, 2022
Muratov won the award for protecting "freedom of expression in Russia" while serving as the editor for one of the country's major last independent newspapers, Novaya Gazeta.
While a lot of the coverage of the invasion is informed by the Kremlin - who called the February 24 invasion a "special operation" - Novaya Gazeta has remained critical of President Vladimir Putin and his supporters.
In March, the newspaper was forced to suspend printing operations after numerous threats made by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications.
At the time, Muratov said that although it was a "difficult" decision to close the newspaper temporarily, it was required to avoid a complete shutdown.
"For us and, I know, for you, this is a terrible and difficult decision. But we need to save us for each other," he said in a statement at the time.
The newspaper added: "We have received another warning from Roskomnadzor," the newspaper said in a statement, referring to Russia's media regulator.
"We are suspending publication of the newspaper on our website, on social media and in print - until the end of the 'special operation in Ukraine’”.
When Muratov won the Nobel Prize he dedicated it to several journalists who had been murdered since 2000, including Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in her apartment for her reporting on the Kremlin, according to The Guardian.
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