In his remarks during a conversation held at the Ent Center, Russian journalist and Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov pleaded for more humanity in world politics, emphasizing his own experiences witnessing Russian atrocities firsthand over the last 30 years.
On Feb. 27, UCCS hosted Muratov, the editor in chief of the now censored Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. During the nearly two-
The conversation began with Muratov giving a recount of what he believes is the real face of Russian conflict. He spoke of the child refugees in Ukraine, displaced by the year-long Russian military invasion. One example he gave of Ukraine’s courage in the face of suffering was the time he witnessed a young girl praying “God, please watch over my family and my country” after rockets bombarded an apartment building.
Novaya Gazeta was censored in March 2021 after reporting on human rights violations and corruption at the hands of the Russian Government since the publication’s founding in 1993. A substantive part of the conversation revolved around Muratov’s experiences managing his reporters, including those that were killed mysteriously, including journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in 2006.
According to Muratov, he helped start the censored newspaper with former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev with the goal of remaining an independent newspaper. As the current Russian government started to take form with President Vladimir Putin at the helm, the newspaper felt compelled to report on their findings in the Second Chechen War.
The newspaper offered a service to the Russian people, but with the increase in violence directed toward journalists, Muratov said that as he gets older, “Not one article is worth one drop of blood from my journalists. Not one hair on their head.”
Muratov guided the discussion toward his experience living in Russia, post 2021 Ukraine Invasion. Muratov claims that “the cult of death is thriving,” in Russia, whether it be propagated by state run TV or the Russian Orthodox Church, which frequently run ads supporting “death for motherland.”
The conversation ended with Muratov posing the question, “Do you think Russia will push the button?” to the audience, referring to nuclear response if the western world doesn’t cease support for Ukraine. Muratov used this as an opportunity to explore the psyche of Vladimir Putin and reference broadcasts which air statements like “without Putin there is no Russia.”
The event was a wake-up call targeted toward the western world which offered modern Russian perspectives, that still reached toward the universal goal of peace. UCCS, with the help of the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, gifted Muratov with a small replica of the marble statue of Clyde outside the library and a world globe made of glass. Muratov reciprocated with a signed picture of the recently deceased Gorbachev.
Photo from cnn.com.