The previous record for a Nobel was set at $4.76 million in 2014, when James Watson auctioned his 1962 award for co-discovering the double helix structure of DNA.
Muratov, editor of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta who has criticized the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine, said the auction results exceeded his expectations.
Facing Putin’s wartime censorship, a Nobel laureate fights to keep truth in Russia alive
“The most important message today is for people to understand that there is a war going on and we need to help people who are suffering the most,” he said.
The 60-year-old was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 alongside Filipino journalist Maria Ressa for their work in promoting independent reporting in the face of growing authoritarianism.
“Russia Is Bombing Ukraine” ran in big letters on the front page of Novaya Gazeta’s first issue after Moscow launched its invasion on Feb. 24, with stories printed side by side in Russian and Ukrainian.
A little over a month later, the newspaper announced it would suspend operations until the end of the conflict after receiving another warning from Russia’s communications regulator as a crackdown on media and criticism of the war grew harsher.
U.S. says Russian intelligence orchestrated attack on Nobel laureate
In April, when Muratov was assailed with red paint and acetone on a train in Russia, the U.S. government said it had concluded that Russian intelligence was behind the attack.
His newspaper’s staff has endured assassinations and threats in the years since its founding in 1993, although this is the first time it has suspended publication.
Muratov, who has called for an antiwar movement, said he hoped the bid on his Nobel Prize, which took place in New York, would encourage others to donate.
“I was hoping that there was going to be an enormous amount of solidarity, but I was not expecting this to be such a huge amount,” he said Monday after bidding closed on what was World Refugee Day, according to the Associated Press.
“It has to become the beginning of a flash mob or as an example to follow, so people auction their valuable possessions to help Ukrainian refugees,” he said earlier in a video.