Dmitry Muratov, the co-winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize and the editor-in-chief of Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has auctioned off his Nobel medal for a record $103.5 million (over ₹800 crore). All proceeds from the auction will help UNICEF’s humanitarian response for Ukraine’s displaced children amid the Russian invasion beginning February 2022.
The medal was sold to an as unidentified phone bidder at the sale in New York organised by Heritage Auctions.
Dmitry Muratov won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize alongside journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines, “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.”
Muratov was among a group of journalists who founded Novaya Gazeta in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union. An independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta is known for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs.
This year, Novaya Gazeta became the only major newspaper left in the country criticising President Vladimir Putin and his actions. In March, after a month of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Novaya Gazeta suspended operations in the country, as Moscow adopted legislation to give tough jail terms to anyone against its military campaign. In April, Muratov was assaulted on a train when a person threw oil-based paint mixed with acetone on him, causing his eyes to burn.
Muratov’s medal was available to bidders both in person and online, with all proceeds going to UNICEF’s Humanitarian Response for Ukrainian Children Displaced by War.
Since 2000, six of Novaya Gazeta’s journalists, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, and collaborators have been killed for work-relate reasons. Muratov has dedicated his Nobel prize to their memory.