Brave and streetwise: Dmitry Muratov, winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize?

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To his fans, he is the man who against all odds kept a strange opposition newspaper open in Russia. To his detractors, he is the man who against all odds kept a strange opposition newspaper open in Russia.

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nova gazzetta‘s Editor Dmitry Muratov, 59, who on Friday became a co-recipient of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, has been the face of Russian investigative journalism since the 1990s. His career has charted the biggest of Russian reversals, with six of his journalists being killed as a direct result of his work. Mr. Muratov dedicated the award to all six.

In recent years, Novaya has published sensitive investigations that few other outlets would dare, especially in such a dangerous journalistic environment. For example, the newspaper broke the news of Ramzan Kadyrov’s homosexual purification in Chechnya. It covered torture in the prison system. And it provided important details on Russia’s undeclared war in Ukraine.


Earnings of such troublesome investigation nova gazzetta International acclaim and unwanted attention.

In 2018, a severed ram’s head was delivered to the paper’s central office, while addressing a journalist writing about mercenary groups affiliated with the Kremlin. In 2020, an attacker sprayed chemical substances on office doors. In the same year, Chechnya’s nonviolent president Mr. Kadyrov called newspaper reporters “non-people”, and urged Russia’s security agency, the FSB, to “stop” them using any means.

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On the eve of the award, Mr. Muratov hosted a solemn party to mark the 15th anniversary of the assassination of his most famous journalist, Anna Politkovskaya. The investigative journalist was shot at the age of 48 at the entrance of his Moscow home in 2006. She was a prominent critic of the Chechen leader. To date, no one has been punished for ordering his death.

His colleagues admire the veteran editor’s journalistic instincts and “professional” approach to editing. “Brilliant, intelligent, and with an eye for survival,” said Pavel Kanygin, a longtime journalist at the newspaper.

Others also insist that they have developed ties with Russia’s security elite as a way of “surviving in the system”.

Mr. Kanyagin was more forthright. “Dmitry Muratov’s talent has always been to find a way through all these tensions and tensions,” he said. “It’s what sets him apart from everyone else in the business.”

Mr Muratov was part of the team that left Komsomolskaya Pravda, the bastion of Soviet journalism, to establish nova gazzetta in 1993. He became editor of the fledgling paper in 1995, a position he held until 2017, and again from 2019, where he continued to work.

over the past few years, nova gazzetta For Life was joined by two big funders: former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who donated money from his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize; and Alexander Lebedev, former publisher and . current shareholders of nova gazzetta. Mr. Lebedev is the father of Evgeny Lebedev, a major shareholder in Granthshala.

Mr. Muratov and nova gazzetta He has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize. The committee’s decision to award it this year appears to be a reflection of the shrewd editor’s ability to keep the newspaper going despite increasing Kremlin crackdowns.

Mr Kanygin told Granthshala That Mr. Muratov repeats a mantra to new and old journalists alike: “It is the art of telling the whole truth, but in order to survive.”

Through bitter experience, his editor understood “more than anyone” where the limits lie. He felt the change in the political climate “at a molecular level”, the journalist said. And he was “strategic” in everything he did.


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