By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – The Russian editor-in-chief of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize medal for $103.5 million to help Ukraine’s child refugees.
Dmitry Muratov said all the money from the sale will go directly to the United Nations fund UNICEF to support its efforts to help children displaced by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Just minutes after bidding ended, UNICEF told Heritage Auctions, the U.S.-based auction house which handled the sale it had already received the funds.
Heritage Auctions did not confirm the buyer’s identity but said the winning bid was made by proxy. The $103.5 million sale translates to $100 million Swiss francs, hinting that the buyer is from overseas.
Muratov’s idea to auction off his Nobel Peace Prize Medal came after he already donated the accompanying $500,000 cash award to charity.
The journalist, who was awarded the gold medal in October 2021, helped found the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
He was the publication’s editor-in-chief when it shut down in March amid the Kremlin’s clampdown on journalists and public dissent after Russia’s invaded Ukraine.
The money to support child refugees came as thousands of people fled daily to neighboring countries from Ukraine, where Russia has captured roughly a quarter of the nation.
Despite the heavy influx of weapons from the West, Ukrainian forces are outgunned by the Russian military in the battle for the eastern Donbas region, Ukraine’s industrial heartland.
Ukrainian forces say the fighting involves mainly artillery exchanges.
While Russians can keep up the heavy, continuous fire for hours at a time, the defenders can’t match the enemy in weapons or ammunition, Kyiv has acknowledged.
Tens of thousands of people, including soldiers and civilians, have been killed in the near-four-month war.
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