Philippine journalist Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, have won the Nobel Peace Prize 2021. The announcement was made on October 8 by Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
“Democratic societies prevent wars and conflicts. It is the best defense societies could mount against them. However, there is no democracy without freedom of speech,” Reiss-Andersen said.
Dmitry Muratov became the first citizen of modern Russia to be awarded this sonorous title of honor. As an outstanding fighter for world peace, Muratov is now on a par with former US President Barack Obama, who was also awarded this high title in 2009.
While the first African American U.S. president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for ‘extraordinary efforts in strengthening international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,’ Dmitry Muratov received it for his ‘efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.’
Of course, the editor-in-chief of such a world-renowned newspaper as Novaya Gazeta is a man of letters, a publicist, and a journalist. Speaking of his creative potential Dmitry Muratov can be put on a par with the Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich, who in 2015 won the Nobel Prize for literature ‘for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.’ By the way, Alexievich was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 but, in the end, it was awarded to Canadian writer Alice Munro.
In the Soviet Union, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the prominent scientist Andrei Sakharov in 1975, who eventually became a human rights activist, for his opposition to the abuse of power and his work for human rights. In 1990, the award was presented to the first President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev ‘for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes an important part in the life of the international community.’ Dmitry Muratov has fallen in line with them.
The editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta has promised to donate part of the prize money (about $1.14 mln) to the Circle of Kindness Foundation, which helps children with serious and rare illnesses. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov congratulated Dmitry Muratov on the Nobel Peace Prize on October 8, saying that Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief “has been consistently working by his ideals. He is committed to them. He is talented and courageous. Of course, this is high praise. We congratulate him.”