Russia: Nobel gives “moral strength” in “depressing times”, reacts Memorial

Russia: Nobel Gives “Moral Strength” primants”, reacts Memorial

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The Russian NGO Memorial, banned in Russia, said on Friday that winning the Nobel Peace Prize gave “moral strength” in “depressing times”, amid the liquidation of the civil society in Russia and military offensive in Ukraine. 

“This prize gives moral strength (…) to all Russian human rights activists”, said the president of Memorial International, Ian Ratchinski, leaving a Moscow court after a new trial against the NGO.

“Being alongside other compatriots, like (Andrei) Sakharov (Mikhail) Gorbachev and Dmitry Muratov, is very important when we are going through these depressing times”, he said. he told the press, quoting former Russian Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

“We must not forget those who are in prison,” he added, citing in particular the incarcerated opponents Alexeï Navalny and Ilia Yachine, two figures of the Russian opposition.

“It is an honor to be (winners) together” with the Ukrainian CCL, rejoiced for his part Oleg Orlov, historical figure of the NGO.

“We are under pressure, they are under fire of our own army,” Mr. Orlov noted. And to add: “And even under these conditions, they continue to work. It’s a huge honor to be by their side.”

“Will this take the pressure off us? “, he also wondered aloud. “I'm afraid not”.

Banned in Russia, Memorial is a reference in the fight for freedoms and the memory of political repressions in the country and in the former USSR.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him on Friday, jointly with Belarusian activist Ales Beliatski and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, in the midst of Moscow's military offensive in Ukraine.