Ukrainian President's Office gives lukewarm greeting to award of Nobel Peace Prize to laureates in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia

7 October 2022, 04:19 PM
Mykhailo Podolyak (Photo:REUTERS/Anna Voitenko)

Mykhailo Podolyak (Photo:REUTERS/Anna Voitenko)

The office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reacted unenthusiastically to the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to laureates not just from Ukraine, but also from Russia and Belarus – countries that are currently waging an undeclared war on Ukraine. 

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of President’s Office, voiced Ukraine’s official position on Twitter on Oct. 7 shortly after the Nobel Committee announced the awarding of the prize.

“The Nobel Committee has an interesting understanding of word ‘peace’ if representatives of two countries that attacked a third one receive Nobel Prize together,” Podolyak tweeted.

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“Neither the Russian nor the Belarusian organizations were able to organize resistance to the war.”

“This year's Nobel is ‘awesome,’” Podolyak added sarcastically.

This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, the jailed Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, and also the Russian human rights organization Memorial.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that by awarding The Nobel Peace Prize to these laureates, it “wishes to honor three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence in the neighboring countries Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.”

“Through their consistent efforts in favor of humanist values, anti-militarism and principles of law, this year’s laureates have revitalized and honored Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace and fraternity between nations – a vision most needed in the world today,” the committee.

However, the announcement was met with criticism in Ukraine, where many felt that splitting the award between laureates in three countries – two of which are currently engaged in an aggressive, unprovoked war against Ukraine – was insensitive.

While all three laureates do valuable work, their situations are quite different, some Ukrainians pointed out on social media.

Many noted that while the organizations in Belarus and Russia are battling against the human rights of their own governments, dictatorships, the Ukrainian organization is dealing with the results of these same dictatorships’ actions in Ukraine.

Ukrainians also object to their country, a democracy, being closely associated with the dictatorships Belarus and Russia.

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