The Nobel Peace Prize medal of Dmitri Muratov, editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper, is in a fast-paced auction on the night of June 20th to 21st, 2022 in New York «Novaya Gazeta», was auctioned for the amazing amount of 103.5 million US dollars. 100% of the proceeds from this charity auction, conducted by Heritage Auctions, will go to UNICEF in support of Ukrainian refugee children. Muratovs «Novaya Gazeta» had to stop its operations due to pressure from the Kremlin after 32 days of war in Ukraine.
Just a few minutes before the auction, Daniel Thüler, Editor-in-Chief of Schweizer «Computerworld» and the German one «com! professional»together with Dieter Herzmann, partner of the St. Gallen IT service provider Topix, and Tatiana Skakauskis, Head of Administration at altra Schaffhausen, the association «Friends of Novaya Gazeta Europe» in favor of «Novaya Gazeta Europe» officially launched.
A new medium created in 13 days
The «Novaya Gazeta Europe» is one new independent and uncensored Russian online newspaper in the EU based in Riga (Latvia). she was founded on April 7, 2022 by more than 50 former journalists from Novaya Gazeta who had to leave Russia due to severe repression. They started their work with no investors, no registered company, no bank accounts and only a minimum of belongings. But they still want to tell the truth about the war and their country.
“Novaya Gazeta Europe” launched its website on April 20, 2022. Just nine days later, she was blocked by the Russian media regulator for “numerous false reports about the Russian army”. Despite Russia’s internet censorship, Novaya Gazeta Europe is trying to win back the readership of Novaya Gazeta. “Our newspaper will not cease to exist, even though Putin wants it to disappear,” said Kirill Martynov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Europe. Access from Russia is only possible via VPN.
Solidarity with refugee journalists
The Union “Friends of Novaya Gazeta Europe”, which is run under Swiss law, helps, among other things, to co-finance the young medium by collecting membership fees and donations. Individuals and companies outside of Switzerland can also become members. “As a journalist living in a safe and neutral country, I was looking for a way to support my Russian colleagues who had to flee their country and are in danger just because they are doing their job,” says Club President Thüler. “As a long-standing editor-in-chief, I know how difficult it is not only to start a new medium, but also to create a solid financial basis for a long-term existence – especially under these extremely difficult circumstances such as the war in Ukraine as well as censorship and the harsh repression in Russia.”
“Independent journalists have been fighting against the Russian dictatorship in their own country for many years,” explains Martynov. “Our work has always been made possible by ordinary people.” As in the 19th and 20th centuries, the fate of freedom of expression on the continent was once again in the hands of Europe. “I am grateful to our friends in Switzerland for paving the way to support independent Russian-language media and Novaya Gazeta Europe,” said the editor-in-chief.