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HomeUkraineBelarus, Ukraine, and Russia activists are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia activists are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

A jailed activist from Belarus, along with two organizations from Ukraine and Russia, was given the Nobel Peace Prize for their advocacy of human rights and democracy.

The choice to honor Ales Bialiatsky, Russia’s Memorial, and the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties (CCL) is a slap in the face of two autocratic governments.

Before Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, Russia pushed the Memorial to close in December 2014.

Bialiatsky was imprisoned in response to protests against Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

The Ukrainian CCL has observed political persecution and crimes against humanity in Russian-occupied or -annexed regions of Ukraine.

Belarus, ukraine, and russia activists are awarded the nobel peace prize.
Belarus, ukraine, and russia activists are awarded the nobel peace prize.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told reporters that all three had made “exceptional efforts to record war crimes, violations of human rights, and abuses of power.”

When asked if the committee was sending a message to Russia’s leader on the occasion of his 70th birthday, she stated that the Nobel prize was always given “for something and to someone, and never against anyone.”

The longtime leader of Belarus is a close buddy of President Putin. After a 2020 re-election that was widely criticized for being manipulated, Putin ruthlessly suppressed demonstrators and then permitted Russian soldiers to use his country as a launching pad for their war against Ukraine.

In Ukraine, Putin’s dream of victory evaporates.

Ales Bialiatsky, 60 years old, created the Belarusian rights organization Viasna, which means spring, in 1996, two years after Mr. Lukashenko seized power. In 2011, he was imprisoned for the first time; the following year, he has incarcerated again without trial. According to Viasna, there are now 1,348 political prisoners being imprisoned in Belarus.

Exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya applauded the Nobel committee’s “recognition for all Belarusians struggling for freedom and democracy,” while Bialiatsky’s widow Natallia Pinchuk expressed “overwhelming emotion”

Nobel peace prize
Belarus, ukraine, and russia activists are awarded the nobel peace prize.

Following the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Bialiatsky, a spokesman for Belarus’s foreign ministry stated that Alfred Nobel was “turning in his grave.”

Memorial is one of Russia’s oldest human rights organizations. Tens of millions of people are believed to have perished in the Gulag camps of forced labor, which were first led by an additional Nobel Peace Prize winner, Andrei Sakharov, in the late 1980s.

The report goes on to detail more recent violations of human rights, including kidnappings and torture in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Natalia Estemirova, the chief of its Chechen branch, was assassinated in 2009.

The Supreme Court of Russia dissolved Memorial in December 2021, even though it continues to operate in a hostile environment where criticism of the war in Ukraine has been deemed a criminal offense.

Elena Zhemkova, the director of International Memorial, stated that the Nobel Prize would benefit their efforts: “We have always stated at Memorial that human rights and historical remembrance have no bounds. Understanding Soviet history requires collaborative efforts. No nation may privatize the legacy of war and oppression.”

However, Moscow authorities were less enthused. Tass news agency reported that the director of Russia’s human rights council, Valery Fadeyev, asked Memorial to refuse the award, describing it as entirely discredited.

Even though a Ukrainian organization was awarded the peace prize along with officials from Belarus and Russia, there was significant displeasure in Kiev over the fact that it was shared.

“Russian and Belarusian organizations were unable to organize war resistance. This year’s Nobel Prize is fantastic “Mischievously, presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak tweeted.

In recent months, the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties has shifted its focus to abuses committed by Russian forces, after spending the previous years documenting political persecution in Russian-annexed Crimea and atrocities in separatist-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine.

Oleksandra Matviychuk, the director of the center, expressed her satisfaction in sharing the award with “our friends and partners at Memorial and Viasna.”

She stated that an international tribunal should be established to “bring Putin, Lukashenko, and other war criminals to trial” to give justice to the hundreds of thousands of victims of war crimes.

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