Peace and Politics

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The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian human rights campaigners on Friday in a slap to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine in February, NBC News reported.

Ales Bialiatski, a jailed human rights advocate from Belarus, the Russian human rights organization Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organization the Center for Civil Liberties were named as the 2022 laureates at a ceremony in Norway’s capital, Oslo.

“They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power,” said Committee Chair Berit Reiss-Andersen. “Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy.”

Nominations for the prize had taken place before the Kremlin launched its invasion, but many believe the awarding of the prize to these three reflects the ongoing dismay in much of the world over the war.

Reiss-Andersen denied suggestions that the choice of winners this year was designed to send a birthday message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who turned 70 on Friday. She added, however, that Putin’s regime represents “an authoritarian government that is suppressing human rights activists.”

International leaders and human rights advocates lauded the committee’s decision but some Ukrainian officials were not happy with the award, according to CNN.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, posted on Twitter that the Russian and Belarusian laureates had not organized any resistance to the war.

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