Dmitry Muratov, the co-winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize and the editor of one of Russia's last major independent newspapers, auctioned off his Nobel medal for a record $103.5 million to aid children displaced by the war in Ukraine, reports Reuters.
All proceeds from the auction, which coincided with the World Refugee Day on Monday, will benefit UNICEF's humanitarian response for Ukraine's displaced children, Heritage Auctions, which conducted the sale in New York, said in a statement.
Muratov's Novaya Gazeta newspaper, fiercely critical of President Vladimir Putin and his government, suspended operations in Russia in March after warnings from the state over its coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Pressure against liberal Russian media outlets has been continuous under Putin, Russia's paramount leader since 1999, but it has mounted after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Muratov was attacked with red paint in April.
Russia's mainstream media and state-controlled organisations follow closely the language used by the Kremlin to describe the conflict with Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special operation" to ensure Russian security and denazify its neighbour. Kyiv and its Western allies say it is an unprovoked war of aggression.
According to US media reports, the auction of Muratov's prize shattered the record for any Nobel medal that has been auctioned off, with reports saying that the previous highest sale fetched just under $5 million.