A Russian Auctioned Off His Nobel Prize For Children In Ukraine & It Shattered A Record

“We want to return their future.”

Global Staff Writer
Dmitry Muratov with his Nobel Prize. Right: the Nobel prize.

Dmitry Muratov with his Nobel Prize. Right: the Nobel prize.

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov just auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize to raise money for Ukrainian children refugees, and it sold at a groundbreaking price, beating previous records.

The Nobel Peace Prize medal was auctioned off on Monday by Heritage Auctions, and it was sold for $103.5 million, equivalent to almost CA$133 million.

Until this sale, the highest amount ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal was $4.76 million in 2014 when James Watson, responsible for co-discovering the structure of DNA, sold his 1962 prize, reported CNBC.

Muratov promised that all proceeds from the sale would go towards helping refugees from the war that has been raging in Ukraine since February when Russia launched its attack on the country.

The controversial journalist won the prize in 2021 for his efforts in defending freedom of expression in Russia. He was co-awarded the prize with Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, reported BBC.

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Reza and Dimitri Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace," the Nobel Prize Committee announced when awarding the two journalists for their efforts.

During an interview with Heritage Auctions, Muratov shared that he hopes his decision to sell his Nobel Prize becomes the "beginning of a flashmob we example to follow, so people auction their valuable possessions to help Ukrainian refugees."

"The most important message today is for people to understand that there is a war going on, and we need to help people who are suffering the most," said Muratov. "We're not talking about being proud, feeling pried or accomplished. We're talking about a war and about helping people who are suffering the most, children in refugee families."

The interview ended by confirming that 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to UNICEF's humanitarian response to aiding children in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

The $103.5 million sale was made in $100 million Swiss francs, indicating that an overseas buyer sealed the deal.

Muratov is the editor-in-chief of the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which he and six other journalists founded after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Since 2000, six journalists and collaborators from Novaya Gazeta have been killed because of their work.

Muratov never shied away from voicing his criticism of the Russian government's stance against Ukraine and was highly critical of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

In April of 2022, he was attacked with red paint laced with solvent acetone while boarding a train in Moscow.

The male attacker shouted, "Muratov, this is for our boys."

Sameen Chaudhry
Global Staff Writer
Sameen Chaudhry was a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and based in Toronto, Ontario.