The Nobel Signal

Nobel Peace Prize - a warning from the West

The Nobel Peace Prize is often a magnet for criticism. This year was no exception. The committee simultaneously rewarded Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, and the Russian Memorial Society established by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Academician Sakharov in 1975.

It is noteworthy that Russians have been awarded the Prize two years in a row - a rare occurrence. The award was presented to Dmitry Muratov in 2021 (along with an American-Filipino journalist). It was later sold to UNICEF for a record USD 103.5 million.

 There have been numerous accusations that the Nobel Peace Prize has been politicized. The importance of this is particularly evident since the selection of the laureates for 2022 and the emphasis placed upon Russia have been confirmed by numerous observers.

Furthermore, some have noted that given the unfolding events in Ukraine, the laureates have not been effective in promoting peace. As if the Nobel Committee did not award a prize for success, but instead compensated its failed agents for their mistakes.

The Ukrainian government criticized two-thirds of the Nobel Committee's decision, but was satisfied with the other third, which assessed Ukrainian compatriots.

However, the award can be viewed as a meaningful signal. It is possible that the Committee, in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Ukrainian human rights activists, is expressing its concern regarding the state of civil society and human rights in the country. It is obvious that amid the war, the West turns a blind eye to many issues in Ukraine, but they may come out as leverage in the future.

In addition, the Nobel Committee is equating the difficulties in achieving human rights for Russian activists in Russia, where the Memorial is closed, and in Belarus, where the laureate has been imprisoned, with the situation in Ukraine, perhaps as a hint to Zelenskiy that there is also a problem in his country. Western authorities have issued similar warnings in the past.

The recent White House leak revealed that the Biden administration was concerned about the results of the investigation into the murder of Darya Dugina, the daughter of ally of Vladimir Putin Alexander Dugin. There was considerable dissatisfaction among the US leadership regarding Zelenskiy's amateurish behavior, and it all coincided with the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize winners. Probably, this is the way, the West is probably showing Kyiv the limits of its freedom, not only at present, but also in the post-war period.

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