(from JAMnews, 12/14; Photo: Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta. Photo: “Novaya Gazeta”)

Russian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dmitry Muradov

Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. At the award ceremony in Oslo, Muratov addressed the world with a speech in which he talked about the threat of war, problems with media and human rights in Russia.

“I am convinced that freedom of conscience, together with the other civic rights, provides the basis for progress.

I defend the thesis of the decisive significance of civic and political rights in moulding the destiny of mankind!

I am convinced that international confidence, <…> disarmament, and international security are inconceivable without an open society with freedom of information, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech <…>.

Peace, progress, human rights – these three goals are insolubly linked to one another.”

These words are a quote from the Nobel lecture of member of the Academy of Science Andrei Sakharov, a citizen of the world, a great thinker.

His wife Elena Bonner read it out here, in this place, on Thursday, December 11, 1975.

I felt an urge to repeat Sakharov’s words here, in this world-famous hall.

Why is it important today for us, for me?

The world has fallen out of love for democracy.

The world has become disappointed with the power elite.

The world has begun to turn to dictatorship.

We’ve got an illusion that progress can be achieved through technology and violence, not through human rights and freedoms.

This is progress without freedom?

It is as impossible as getting milk without having a cow.

The dictatorships have secured access to violence.

In our country (and not only) it is common to think that politicians who avoid bloodshed are weak.

While threatening the world with war is the duty of true patriots.

The threat of war

The powerful actively promote the idea of war.

Aggressive marketing of war affects people and they start thinking that war is acceptable.

Governments and their propaganda supporters are fully responsible for the militaristic rhetoric on state-owned television channels.

Today’s ideologues promote the idea of dying for your country and not living for your country. TV screens shall not fool us again. Let us remember what we saw on that little TV screen in the small room close to the railway cars filled with dead children.

Hybrid warfare and the tragic, ugly and criminal story of the Boeing MH17 have ruined relations between Russia and Ukraine, and I do not know if the next generations will be able to restore them. Moreover, in heads of some crazy geopoliticians, a war between Russia and Ukraine is not something impossible any longer.

But I know that wars end with identifying soldiers and exchanging prisoners. During the Chechen war, Novaya Gazeta and our observer, Major Izmajlov, managed to free 174 people from captivity. If I, in my new status, can do anything to bring home prisoners who are still alive, please say so. I’m ready.

Crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border

The events we see in the centre of Europe, in the Eastern Ukraine have been extended by a game, which is now turning into bloodshed, initiated by the the President of Belarus Lukashenko. His soldiers chase refugees who have come from the Middle East towards rows of guards armed with machine guns who protect the borders of the European Union. Both sides accuse one another, and the desperate people have literally come to a squeeze.

We are journalists, and our mission is clear – to distinguish between facts and fiction. The new generation of professional journalists knows how to work with big data and databases. By using these, we have found out whose airplanes are bringing refugees to the conflict area. The facts speak for themselves.

The number of Belarusian flights from the Middle East to Minsk has more than quadrupled this autumn. 6 flights in the period August-November 2020 and 27 in the same period this year. The Belarusian airline company brought 4,500 people to possible crossing of the border this year, and only 600 last year. The same number – 6,000 refugees – came with an Iraqi airline company.

This is how armed provocations and conflicts arise. We journalists have uncovered how it is all organized, our task is accomplished. Now it is up to the politicians.

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