Ukraine: the three Nobel Peace Prize winners call to “resist” Putin

The Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize have urged them to refuse to lay down their arms in the face of Russia.


In Oslo, the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three laureates: Belarusian activist Alès Bialiatski was represented by his wife Natalia Pinchouk, while Russian Yan Rachinsky and Ukrainian Oleksandra Matviichuk were present in person.

” Lhe people of Ukraine want peace more than anyone else in the world »said Oleksandra Matviichuk, Ukrainian winner of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, receiving the prestigious award on Saturday December 10 in Oslo. ” But peace for a country under attack cannot be achieved by laying down arms. It wouldn’t be peace, but occupation », she decided. A speech supported by the two other laureates, Russian and Belarusian, also rewarded this year.

From the three main protagonist states of the conflictthe Belarusian activist Alès Beliatski, imprisoned in his country, the Russian NGO Memorialdissolved by court order, and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) were crowned for their commitment to “human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence » against authoritarian forces. The Nobel didn’t dent their pugnacity – even though they didn’t show any signs of outpouring with each other during the award ceremony.

The CCL counted “more than 27,000 episodes » of war crimes

Established in 2007, the CCL led by Oleksandra Matviïtchouk today documents the war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine: the destruction of apartment buildings, churches, schools and hospitals, the bombing of evacuation corridors, the forced displacement of populations , tortures and crimes…

Effect of the bombings on Ukrainian energy infrastructureMs. Matviychuk herself wrote her Nobel acceptance speech by candlelight, she told AFP in an interview just before the ceremony. In nine months of Russian invasion, the CCL counted “more than 27,000 episodes » of war crimesaccording to her, and it is “only the tip of the iceberg “. “War turns people into numbers. We must give a name to all the victims of war crimes »she pointed out.

Her voice choking with emotion in her speech at Oslo City Hall adorned with red Siberian flowers, Ms Matviychuk again called for the creation of an international tribunal for try ‘Putin, (his ally, Belarusian leader Alexander) Lukashenko and other war criminals’.

READ ALSO“Russified” Ukrainian children: “These practices are reminiscent of the Nazis” His Russian co-winner, President of MemorialIan Ratchinski, for his part denounced the “imperial ambitions” inherited from the USSR which “still flourish today”. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has hijacked the historical meaning of the anti-fascist struggle “for the benefit of its own political interests », he said. From now on, “resisting Russia is tantamount to fascism », he lamented. A distortion that provides “the ideological justification for the mad and criminal war of aggression against Ukraine »he claimed, despite Moscow’s bans on publicly criticizing the invasion.

Founded in 1989, Memorial has worked for decades shed light on crimes committed under Stalin’s totalitarian regime and preserve the memory of its victims, then to collect information on the violation of freedoms and rights in Russia. In a context of muzzling of the opposition and the media, the NGO was dissolved at the end of 2021 by the Russian justice, which also ordered the seizure of its offices in Moscow on October 7, the same evening of the awarding of the Nobel Prize. to the organization. “Today, the number of political prisoners in Russia is greater than their total number in the entire Soviet Union at the start of the perestroika period in the 1980s. »noted Ratchinsky.

READ ALSO“My mother came from the densest darkness of the XXe bloodthirsty century”

To stand up against the “international of dictatorships »

The third Nobel laureate, Alès Beliatski, father of the human rights NGO Viasna, has been imprisoned since July 2021. Pending a trial where he faces twelve years in prison for “smuggling » cash for the benefit of opposition to the repressive regime of Mr. Lukashenkothe 60-year-old activist was not allowed to deliver a Nobel acceptance speech.

The representative at the ceremony, his wife Natalia Pintchouk had to content himself with repeating a few of his words, in particular those in which he calls for standing up against “the international of dictatorships ». In Ukraine, Russia aims to establish “a vassal dictatorship, the same as today’s Belarus, where the voice of the oppressed people is ignored, with Russian military bases, huge economic dependence, cultural and linguistic Russification », he said in his wife’s voice. “Goodness and truth must be able to protect themselves »he also said.

READ ALSOUkrainians, Iranians, Chinese… 2022, year of the courage of peoples

In Stockholm, where are awarded the other Nobels (medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics), no less than 26 winners will take part in the festivities this year, including the French, the author Annie Ernaux. Blame it on Covid-19 which prevented the 2020 and 2021 winners from traveling to the Swedish capital to receive their reward and their check for 10 million crowns (around 900,000 euros).

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Ukraine: the three Nobel Peace Prize winners call to “resist” Putin

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