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Russian journalist sells Nobel Peace Prize for $103.5 million — Analysis

The editor-in-chief at Novaya Gazeta Dmitry Muratov sold his medal in auction to support Ukrainian children

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov put up $103.5 million to auction his Nobel Peace Prize gold Medal. Novaya Gazeta editor-in chief Dmitry Muratov said Monday that he would donate the entire amount to UNICEF in order to assist Ukrainian families and children who are being displaced due to the current military conflict.

Muratov is co-founder and editor-in chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Maria Ressa, a Filipino journalist, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for October 2021. “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.”

He initially stated that he was going to be selling his prize on March 22. But, he finally decided to put the item up for auction at Heritage Auctions in New York City on May 20, which coincides with World Refugee Day. First bid was $700,000. It quickly rose to $16.6 million. A few days later, an anonymous bidder made $103.5million for the 23 carat gold medal. It was not possible to match it by any other participant.

In the past, the highest amount paid by anyone for a Nobel prize award medal was for James Watson in 2014. He won the Nobel prize for discovery of the DNA structure in 1962 and sold it for $4.76million.

“I was hoping that there was going to be an enormous amount of solidarity,”Muratov spoke out after the sale. “But I was not expecting this to be such a huge amount.”

Muratov first stated that he would sell his medal for charity to benefit the children of Ukraine when he made that announcement. “we thought about this for a long time with the editing team of Novaya Gazeta and we realized that there are people who have it much worse than we do. Refugees. Sick Ukrainian children. It’s much worse for them than it is for us.”He said that the auction of the prize had been supported by “100%” of the newspaper’s staff.

Muratov stated previously on Telegram that this auction was “an act of solidarity”With the “over 10 million Ukrainian refugees”He called it the Russian invasion, and he had them displaced. “a tragedy”.

Muratov explained why UNICEF was chosen as the beneficiary of the funds. He stated that Novaya Gazeta employees valued the fact that UNICEF did not have to be associated with any particular government. This allowed it to operate without boundaries. Muratov stated that he is particularly concerned for the children left behind by the conflicts in Ukraine. “to return their future.”

Dmitry Peskov (Kremlin spokesperson) commented on Muratov’s decision not to pay the money for UNICEF. UNICEF aids Ukrainian refugees all over the globe including in Russia. Any contribution, particularly in relation to children’s welfare, is welcome.”

Peskov, speaking to journalists on Tuesday said that Ukraine’s refugee crisis, especially for those arriving on Russian territory, is growing and that many are offering all they can to help. “with an open heart.”

“It has to become a beginning of a flashmob or example to follow so people auction their valuable possessions to help Ukrainian refugees,”Heritage Auctions had a video that Muratov released ahead of the auction.

Novaya Gazeta decided to suspend its operations both online and in print on March 28 after receiving two warnings from Russian media regulators for failing to identify “foreign agent” entities as such in its articles. Russian law allows a publication to have its licence revoked if it receives at least two warnings.

Muratov, who has openly opposed Moscow’s military offensive against Kiev, stated that the newspaper would not resume operations until “the end of the special operation on the territory of Ukraine.”

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