The editor in chief of the unbiased Russian information service, Novaya Gazeta – which was shuttered by the Kremlin in March following sweeping new restrictions on journalists within the wake of the Ukraine invasion – stated that he and his colleagues selected the UN Youngsters’s Fund UNICEF as the perfect non-governmental group for the job of guaranteeing that the funds would attain all Ukrainian kids in want.
‘That is what we’d like’
“UNICEF is totally non-toxic”, Mr. Muratov advised the Russian service of UN Information, in an unique interview on Tuesday, following the public sale. “They’ve glorious professionals, they’ve programmes, they report on how and what they do – that is what we’d like.
“We wrote them a letter, received a response from them, I’ve it. It was vital for me, that UNICEF famous that the cash would go to all international locations that border Ukraine, the place refugees are positioned – with out exception.”
He stated he hoped Ukrainian kids who had been now in Russia, would additionally profit: “There are multiple and a half million refugees in Russia, perhaps rather less. Due to this fact, [we chose] UNICEF, which has such alternatives, and which understands very effectively that it has not a political, however a humanitarian mission.”
The Russian Nobel Laureate, who was awarded the gold medal in October 2021, together with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines – for companies to free speech and fearless reporting within the face of harassment and loss of life threats – stated that by no means in his “wildest goals” had he anticipated the award to fetch such a big sum.
His most optimistic hope was that it would attain $5 million.
Mr. Muratov stated that the auctioneers at UNICEF’s request, had achieved background checks on the varied bidders, together with the eventual successful bid, to make sure that the supply of the cash was not an oligarch, or from any unlawful felony operation comparable to human or medicine traffickers.
“They checked by way of the banking system, the monetary system, and all that I can say 100%, which I used to be additionally knowledgeable of, notified and proven, is that that is completely clear, and clear cash”, he advised UN Information.
He wouldn’t nevertheless, reveal the id of the successful bidder – indicating that he didn’t know the title, and that anonymity had been assured: “If I knew, I might not disclosed it, as a result of it is a pure battle of curiosity: folks agreed to the foundations that we proposed, after which we might have taken and violated the foundations. That does not work.”
© UNICEF/Lviv Territorial Medical Union Hospital
‘It is my nation’s fault’
Explaining the quite a few the explanation why his publication couldn’t think about permitting a Russian bidder to enter the operating, or why he thought his paper mustn’t hand the cash on to the Ukrainian Authorities, he stated that might be a non-starter given the state of the struggle.
If at first [Ukrainians] had anger, now they’re livid – their nation is being torn aside, from the face of the earth…While you see all this each second, you continually have an alarm sound, you reside between an condo and a bomb shelter…It is my nation’s fault.”