Nobel-winning Russia journalist to auction off prize to support Ukrainian children

Children walk among buildings destroyed during fighting in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (AP Photo)

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has announced that he plans to auction off the money he won from his Nobel Peace Prize in an effort to support displaced Ukrainian children amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country. 

Muratov, who was the editor of the now-suspended news publication Novaya Gazeta, said that the $500,000 prize money will be used to support various charitable foundations, The New York Times reported

Muratov’s Nobel Peace model will be auctioned off by Heritage Auctions in New York on June 20. One hundred percent of the auction’s proceeds will be donated to the United Nations agency UNICEF.

June 20 is also World Refugee Day, according to Heritage Auctions.

“One successful bidder will walk away from this auction with a gold medal representing Mr. Muratov’s life’s work and sacrifice. Still, it is his wish that EVERYONE participates by donating what they can to UNICEF,” the auction website said. “The goal is to use this event to foster awareness of refugee crises and for the giving to continue long after the auction on June 20th.” 

In an interview last month, Muratov said he’s conducting the auction to help support Ukrainians who were displaced due to the conflict, calling the situation a “tragedy,” according to the Times. 

“If we look at the number of refugees, we basically have World War III, not a local conflict,” Muratov told the Times. “This has been a mistake, and we need to end it.”

This comes after Muratov initially announced his plans to auction off his Nobel Prize medal in March, a month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Muratov won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize award along with fellow journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines, both recognized for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

“Novaya Gazeta and I have decided to donate the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Medal to the Ukrainian Refugee Fund,” Muratov told the Times. 

“There are already over 10 million refugees,” Muratov added. “I ask the auction houses to respond and put up for auction this world-famous award.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has killed thousands on both sides and led about 6.8 million Ukrainian refugees to flee the country to escape ongoing fighting.

Tags Dmitri Muratov Dmitry Muratov Heritage Auctions Nobel Committee Nobel Peace Prize Novaya Gazeta Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine conflict The New York Times UNICEF UNICEF

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