Nobel Peace Prize: Some Ukrainians voice mixed reactions


KYIV, Ukraine –

A day after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize with fellow human rights campaigners from Belarus and Russia, the pinnacle of the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties praised the work of her fellow laureates however cautioned in opposition to lumping the three collectively in a Cold War-like narrative.

“We do not see — and we should not see — this prize … as a Soviet narrative about brotherhood nations,” mentioned Oleksandra Matviychuk at a press convention on Saturday in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. “This is a narrative about combating in opposition to a typical enemy.”

Matviychuk’s feedback got here a day after some in Ukraine voiced mixed reactions to the Nobel committee’s resolution to award the prize to her group together with imprisoned Belarus activist Ales Bialiatski and Russia’s best-known human rights group, Memorial.

The Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties was based in 2007 to defend human rights, democracy and the rule of regulation.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, mentioned the panel determined to honor “three excellent champions of human rights, democracy and peaceable coexistence.”

Some Ukrainians expressed resentment for what they noticed as lumping Ukraine in the identical class as Russia and Belarus, whose territory Moscow has used to wage its conflict on Ukraine.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak mocked the prize in a tweet Friday, saying the committee had an “attention-grabbing understanding of the phrase ‘peace.”‘

Belarusian and Russian human rights defenders are “combating for the rights of individuals in dictatorships,” whereas in Ukraine, teams just like the Center for Civil Liberties are documenting “the conflict crimes of those dictatorships as a result of missiles fly to Ukraine from Belarus and Russia,” Ukrainian journalist Anastasia Magazova tweeted Friday.

“Despite all of the deserves of the laureates from Russia and Belarus, Ukrainians don’t want the wrestle for human rights within the three nations to be perceived equally,” wrote Magazova, who has lined Ukraine for German and Ukrainian publications since 2014.

Matviychuk, the pinnacle of the Ukrainian civil liberties group, on Saturday dismissed options that awarding the prize to representatives from the three nations on the similar time diminished its significance.

The prize, “which belongs to all of the folks of Ukraine who battle for freedom and democracy,” is a logo of the battle “in your freedom and ours,” she mentioned, referencing a phrase that was usually repeated by Soviet dissidents.

“Russia nonetheless hasn’t overcome its imperial complicated. This is a menace. The similar as in Belarus, the place Lukashenko gave up his land to occupation,” mentioned the centre’s govt director, Oleksandra Romantsova.

Romantsova praised the work of Bialiatski and Memorial, which she identified was the primary group to doc Russian conflict crimes through the first conflict from 1994 to 1996 in Chechnya, the bulk Muslim area on Russia’s southern flank that has fought two wars with Moscow for independence.

“Perhaps if the world had paid consideration to the conflict crimes in Chechnya from the beginning, we would not have the conflict in Ukraine in the present day,” Romantsova mentioned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as of Saturday had not known as the Ukrainian group to congratulate it on the prize, which each Matviychuk and the group’s govt director brushed apart as insignificant, given the continued conflict in Ukraine.

It was unlikely Zelenskyy would have been capable of attain both of them yesterday after the information broke, she mentioned.

“I do not want to anybody to undergo conflict, however this sophisticated time provides us time to point out our greatest qualities that we’ve got, from the farmer defending his land or tractor to the president who would not flee the nation through the conflict,” Matviychuk mentioned.


AP journalist Hanna Arhirova in Kyiv, Ukraine, contributed.


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