Russian Journalist Dmitri Muratov Auctions Off Nobel Prize for Ukrainian Children

Dmitry Muratov's face
Dmitry Muratov auctions off his Nobel Peace Prize medal to aid Ukrainian children orphaned by conflict.Getty Images

“We want to return their future,” Dmitri Muratov told the Associated Press.

Russian journalist Dmitri Muratov will be actioning off his Nobel Peace Prize medal Monday to benefit children displaced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Associated Press reported. 

The funds from the auction will be donated to UNICEF, the AP reported. 

Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2021 for his efforts in helping fund the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazetta. Muratov served as its editor-in-chief when it was shut down in March, following Russia's early invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin's crackdown on journalists and public opposition.

Muratov has been openly critical of the war launched by Russia in February, which has created the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. Nearly five million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine.

Muratov told the AP he thought of the idea to auction off his gold medal while thinking about the children who have become orphaned by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “We want to return their future,” he told the AP.

Muratov will reportedly be in New York City to attend the live auction. Online bidding began on June 1, on the observance of International Children’s Day, and June 20’s live auction lands on the observance of World Refugee Day.

As of early Monday, the highest bid on Heritage Auctions, through which the auction is taking place, remained at $550,000. The auction house will take no commission. 

Last year, Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize alongside journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

The two journalists, who each got a medal, were recognized for their efforts to protect free expression in their respective nations, despite the political pressure and death threats they faced.

At least four journalists who worked for Muratov's daily were among the almost two dozen journalists who have been killed in Russia since Putin came to power more than 20 years ago, the AP reported. 

The highest a Nobel Prize award has ever cost was $4.76 million in 2014, when James Watson sold the Nobel Prize he was awarded for being among those who discovered the structure of DNA. Heritage Auctions granted $2.27 million to the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick.

Muratov told the AP that those out of the bidding can still donate directly to UNICEF.

According to the AP. the 175 grams of 23-grams of 23 karat gold in Muratov’s medal, melted down, would be worth around $10,000.

Related Stories