On Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., the Ent Center will be welcoming journalist and editor-in-chief of Russian censored newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov. Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for his efforts alongside other Novaya Gazeta Journalists in exposing Russian human rights violations across a multitude of conflicts over the past 30 years.
UCCS School of Public Affairs associate professor Edin Mujkic is organizing the event with the help of the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council and N3SP, a collaborative organization with UC Boulder, UCCS
, and the U.S. Air Force Academy specializing in national security.
Mujik describes Muratov’s accomplishments, hardships and ultimate censorship at the hands of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Government after the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
In 1993, according to Mujkic, Novaya Gazeta was founded as a means for giving a new voice to post Soviet Union Russia and the newly burgeoning and democratic East Europe.
“The Novaya Gazeta is pretty much the most important newspaper in Russia in the last, I would say, thirty years,” he said.
“[In] 1990 to 93, when Dmitry started that newspaper, it was like the golden age of history when it comes to the proliferation of the democracies around the world.”
Mujkic explained that Muratov chose to become a journalist instead of running for public office in order to continue sharing journalistic perspectives
, without creating a potential perceived threat to Russian president Vladimir Putin. According to Mujkic, this is the only reason Muratov can remain in Moscow.
“Once… Putin took power in 2000, they [the staff of Novaya Gazeta] really become important because Putin slowly started to disenfranchise the journalists,” he said.
While Muratov led the Novaya Gazeta with the voice of the people in mind, the newspaper continued to publish works that contradicted Russian statements and exposed numerous human rights violations. Ultimately, several Novaya Gazeta journalists were killed, including Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.
In 2021 Muratov was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize. However, Mujkic said that after the invasion of Ukraine, Muratov auctioned off his award for 103.5 million dollars with 70% of the proceeds going to Ukrainian child refugees, and the other 30% going to child refugees from other countries.
Mujkic believes United States audiences need to hear from Muratov, especially now that we have seen a rise in undemocratic regimes rising across the world.
“In the last decade or so, we’ve started to backtrack from a democratic path … It is important for us to hear [Muratov’s story] because he can give us that true perspective,” he said.
“Democracy is only as strong as when we want to make it strong; even [the United States] are not immune to censorship or attacks.”
Event attendees will likely include members from NorthCOM, NORAD, United States Space Force and the United States Air Force Academy, according to Mujkic. He asks that people arrive at 5:30 p.m., as the Ent Center’s 760 seating accommodations are likely to fill. People from the UCCS community can register for the free event here.
Photo from cnn.com.