Russian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Yan Rachinsky blasted President Vladimir Putin’s “insane and criminal” war on Ukraine in his acceptance speech in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Saturday.
Rachinsky, from Russia’s human rights organization Memorial, claimed resistance to Russia is known as “fascism” under Putin, adding this has become “the ideological justification for the insane and criminal war of aggression against Ukraine.”
Memorial, one of Russia’s most well-known and respected human rights groups, worked to expose the abuses and atrocities of the Stalinist era for more than three decades before it was ordered to close by the country’s Supreme Court late last year.
Ukrainian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk called for an international tribunal to Putin and Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko to justice over “war crimes” in her acceptance speech.
Matviichuk, who accepted the prize on behalf of her human rights organization, the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, said this would be a way to “ensure justice for those affected by the war.”
Matviichuk warned war criminals should not only be convicted after the fall of authoritarian regimes, adding, “justice cannot wait.”
“We have to establish an international tribunal and bring Putin, Lukashenko and other war criminals to justice,” she continued.
Human rights groups from Russia and Ukraine – Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties – were officially awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 on Saturday, along with the jailed Belarusian advocate Ales Bialiatski.
Bialiatski’s wife received his award on his behalf at a ceremony. The three winners will share the prize money of 10,000,000 Swedish krona ($900,000).
The new laureates were honored for “an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power” in their respective countries.
“They have for many years promoted the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement in October when the winners were announced.