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‘We’re happy but the committee has decreased significance of the award by giving one to Obama’ — Putin on Muratov’s Nobel Prize

The Kremlin was glad to see the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Dmitry Muratov receive the Nobel Peace Prize, however, the Nobel Committee has “decreased the significance of Nobel Prizes in this humanitarian field”, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum.

“We are very happy that our citizen received the Nobel Peace Prize. But I think the Nobel Committee has significantly disavowed, decreased the importance of Nobel Prizes in this humanitarian field,” he said.

Putin recalled the ex-president of the US Barack Obama receiving the same award and questioned the reason he had been given the Nobel Peace Prize: “I’ve never mentioned this before but you’re basically forcing me to comment. What exactly has he done for peace, to protect the world? I mean the military operations in certain regions of the world that were conducted while he was the president,” he added.

According to Putin, he knows of a lot of cases when decisions were made “solely under the influence of the current political situation”. “That doesn’t absolve the people who made those decisions. Nevertheless, we will be happy for our citizens that receive this award,” he emphasised.

Speaking about the journalists that had left Russia, Putin said that they “always, while here, worked against the interests of our country”. “Now, under the pretence of being threatened by something here, they happily relocated over there to work for the same money they were being paid here. <...>

They made the decision to go abroad, to work in some anti-Russian centres.

Well, let them work,” the Russian president concluded.

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Painted with the same brush

After 3 months, police have still not opened a case on the attack on Dmitry Muratov. Yet, the suspects are linked to special forces and nationalists

On 6 September, a court in Moscow found the registration certificate of Novaya Rasskaz-Gazeta invalid. The day before, the same court revoked the registration certificate of the Novaya Gazeta print version. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s censorship agency, also filed a suit asking for the termination of the Novaya Gazeta’s website — the court hearing is scheduled for 15 September.

The original Novaya Gazeta was forced to stop both its printed and digital editions after receiving two warnings from Roskomnadzor on the brink of having its media licence revoked. Those members of the Novaya Gazeta staff who left Russia founded Novaya Gazeta. Europe: a separate project, both legally and virtually, rather than a subdivision of the original Novaya Gazeta.

In October 2021, Dmitry Muratov and Filipino journalist Maria Ressa received Nobel Peace Prizes. After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief auctioned off his medal, with proceeds going to support UNICEF's humanitarian response for Ukrainian refugee children and their families. Muratov emphasised that his decision was supported by all employees of Novaya Gazeta.

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