A Russian journalist has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize to raise millions for refugees fleeing Ukraine, which Russian forces are continuing to invade.
Editor-in-chief of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, has auctioned the award off for £84million ($103.5million) and claimed all the money from the sale will go to helping refugees from the war in Ukraine.
Muratov was co-awarded the peace prize last year for defending freedom of expression in Russia, but has now sold his award to raise funds for those fleeing Ukraine.
Novaya Gazeta, the paper which Muratov edited, ceased operations in March of this year just weeks after Russia began its invasion.
The suspension of the paper came after Moscow said anyone describing Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “war” would face heavy fines or closures, with the Kremlin insisting the war was a “special military operation”.
Heritage Auctions conducted the sale of the Nobel Peace Prize but did not reveal who the successful bidder was.
Muratov had experienced abuse and attacks from Russian citizens after the paper’s closure, with the journalist having red paint laced with solvent acetone thrown on him on a Russian train.
His attackers are said to have shouted: “Muratov, this is for our boys.”
Muratov was among a group of journalists who founded Novaya Gazeta in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Since 2000, six journalists that worked on or collaborated with the newspaper have been killed in connection with their work.
Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize medal has been sold in New York and will go toward Unicef’s humanitarian response for Ukraine’s displaced children, the auction house has said.
In a video released by Heritage Auctions, Muratov said: “The most important message today is for people to understand that there’s a war going on and we need to help people who are suffering the most.”
He won the Nobel Peace Prize last year along with journalist Maria Ressa, BBC reported.
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