Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov announced Tuesday he will auction off his medal and donate the proceeds to Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion.
Muratov and the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper where he is editor-in-chief have spoken out fiercely against the war despite a government crackdown on media and free speech in the country.
“Novaya Gazeta and I decided to donate the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize medal to a fund for Ukrainian refugees,” Muratov said.
“There are already more than 10 million of them. I ask for feedback from auction houses that will auction off this world-famous award,” he added.
In December, the Nobel Peace Prize winner said he had donated 30 million rubles ($290,000) of his prize money to charities and a children’s hospice.
Muratov’s latest announcement came nearly a month after President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to attack Russia's neighbor with the stated aim of “denazifying and demilitarizing” the pro-Western country.
Conservative UN estimates say nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed, while over 10 million people have fled the country or become internally displaced.
Russian authorities have since warned that financial and other assistance to a foreign state during the course of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine could be prosecuted as treason.
After Putin signed a law criminalizing “false information” about the Russian military earlier in March, Muratov’s Novaya Gazeta deleted previous articles and suspended coverage of the Ukraine war to avoid placing journalists under threat of 15 years in prison.
Novaya Gazeta resumed coverage last week under conditions of wartime censorship to steer clear of violating the law.