A Russian journalist has auctioned his Nobel Peace prize in order to raise funds for Ukrainian children impacted by the Russian invasion.

Dmitry Muratov says all proceeds will go to UNICEF to help those in need. Muratov was awarded the prize in October 2021 for his work related to the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The newspaper was shut down in March 2022 by the Russian regime, of which it was frequently critical, arguing for greater democracy and a more liberal society.

Muratov has also previously given away his half-million-dollar prizemoney he received from the Nobel organisation.

He said in an interview:

“We want to return their future. It has to become a beginning of a flash mob as an example to follow so people auction their valuable possessions to help Ukrainians.”

Muratov has been attacked by vigilantes supportive of the current regime due to his outspoken views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this included having red paint thrown on his door.

Joshua Benesh, the chief strategy officer for Heritage Auctions, who will run the auction for the 175 gram 23-karat gold medal, said:

“It’s a very bespoke deal. Not everyone in the world has a Nobel Prize to auction and not every day of the week that there’s a Nobel Prize crossing the auction block.”

Adding:

“I think there’s certainly going to be some excitement Monday. It’s such a unique item being sold under unique circumstances … a significant act of generosity, and such a significant humanitarian crisis.”

He will not be the first person to ever sell their medal. In 2014, James Watson, who won the 1962 prize for his work in discovering DNA, sold his medal for $4.76 million. The gold inside the medal itself is thought to be worth around $10,000 in today’s prices.

The war is now in its 4th month and has triggered the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War with millions of Ukrainians forced to flee their homes. While no figures on casualties can be exact, tens-of-thousands of Ukrainians and tens-of-thousands of Russians are believed to have already been killed in the ongoing fighting.

[Based on reporting by: Associated Press]

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