The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on Friday to rights advocates in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, who have become symbols of resistance and accountability at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought caused the largest land war in Europe since the Second World War.
Winner – Ales Bialiatski, a jailed Belarusian activist; Monument, a Russian institution; and the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine – has emerged as one of the biggest challenges to widespread misinformation and harmful myths disseminated by authoritarian leaders and promoted by the entire world. globalization, digital connectivity and new methods of surveillance.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said: “Peace laureates represent civil society in their countries. “For years, they have promoted the right to criticize power and defend basic rights of citizens.”
The committee said it chose the three winners because it wanted to honor the champions of “human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence” in neighboring Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
Their work has taken on a new meaning since February, when President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia invade neighboring Ukrainedisplaced millions and destabilized the entire region.
The award is a tacit rebuke to Mr Putin, whose tenure has been engulfed by violent crackdowns on dissidents and critics at home – and his 70th birthday is on Friday, an overlap noted by some observers.
“On Putin’s 70th birthday, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Russian human rights group he shut down, a Ukrainian human rights group documenting his war crimes, and a human rights activist who Belarus that his ally Lukashenko has imprisoned,” said Kenneth Roth, former executive director of Human Rights Watch, say on Twitter.
Asked if this year’s selection of winners was “a well-timed birthday president,” Reiss-Andersen said, “This award is not for President Putin, not for his birthday. or in any other sense – except that his government, as the government of Belarus, is representing an authoritarian government that is persecuting human rights activists”.
Reiss-Andersen said the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine has been working to identify and document evidence of Russian war crimes since the invasion began. must be held accountable for their crimes”.
Committee praise the organization for taking a stance “to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and put pressure on the authorities to turn Ukraine into a full-fledged democracy.”
There are 343 nominees for this year’s award, including 251 people and 92 organizations – the second-highest total ever, just behind 2016. Although there is no clear winner, some are. Attention-grabbing names include President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine; Alexei A. Navalnya Russian dissident was jailed; Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a Belarusian opposition politician; World Health Organization; and the International Court of Justice.
Mr. Zelensky is the bookie’s favorite.
Last year, the Peace Prize was shared by two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry A. Muratov“For their efforts in defending the right to freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace,” the Nobel committee said.
Mr. Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, is considered one of the most prominent defenders of free speech in Russia. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Novaya Gazeta was forced to suspend publication amid government censorship.