Russian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Yan Rachinsky slammed President Vladimir Putin’s “senseless and criminal” war on Ukraine in his acceptance speech in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Saturday.
Rachinsky, of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, claimed that resistance to Russia was known as ‘fascism’ under Putin, adding that it had become ‘the ideological justification for senseless war and criminal act of aggression against Ukraine”.
Memorial, one of Russia’s best-known and most respected human rights groups, worked to expose Stalin-era abuses and atrocities for more than three decades before the Supreme Court of country ordered its closure at the end of last year.
Ukrainian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk called for an international tribunal against Putin and Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko for justice for “war crimes” in her acceptance speech.
Matviichuk, who accepted the award on behalf of his human rights organization the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine, said it would be a way to “secure justice for people affected by war”.
Matviichuk warned that war criminals should not only be convicted after the fall of authoritarian regimes, adding that “justice cannot wait”.
“We must 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 – officially received the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday, alongside imprisoned Belarusian lawyer Ales Bialiatski.
Bialiatski’s wife received her award on his behalf at a ceremony. The three winners will share the prize money of 10,000,000 Swedish crowns ($900,000).
The new laureates were honored for “an exceptional effort to document war crimes, human rights violations and abuses of power” in their respective countries.
“They have for many years promoted the right to criticize power and to protect the fundamental rights of citizens,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement in October when the laureates were announced.