Nobel Peace Prize winner 'doused with paint in Russian pro-war attack' on Moscow train

7 April 2022, 21:17 | Updated: 7 April 2022, 21:51

Russian Nobel Peace laureate Muratov shared the pictures on Telegram.
Russian Nobel Peace laureate Dmitry Muratov shared the pictures on Telegram. Picture: Telegram

By Sophie Barnett

Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov claims he was attacked on a train and doused with red paint, in what he says was a protest at his newspaper's coverage of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine.

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Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, said he was attacked on a train and doused with oil paint and acetone on Thursday.

He claims attackers then shouted: "This is for our boys!"

Pictures posted by the newspaper on the Telegram messaging app showed Muratov with red paint on his head and clothes and around his sleeping compartment.

He was reportedly taking a train from Moscow to the city of Samara to visit his mother.

"They poured oil paint with acetone all over the compartment. Eyes burning badly," the newspaper quoted Muratov as saying.

Muratov, who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his critical and investigative coverage of the Russian government, last week announced his newspaper was suspending its online and print activities until the end of what Russia calls its "special operation" in Ukraine.

"Special operation" is the official term Russia's media regulator Roskomnadzor says all media outlets in the country must use.

Anyone who describes Russia's actions in Ukraine as a "war" faces heavy fines or closures.

Read more: Russia suspended from UN Human Rights Council following invasion of Ukraine

The decision followed a second warning from the state communications regulator - with most mainstream media mirroring language used by the Kremlin to describe the war in Ukraine.

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Kirill Martynov, chief editor of Novaya Gazeta Europe, wrote on Twitter that Muratov received medical aid and that his eyesight may have been affected by the paint.

Martynov described the attacker as a “pro-war man".

The official Twitter account of Novaya Gazeta retweeted the images of Muratov, the newspaper’s first post since it went offline on March 28.

Muratov was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Maria Ressa for "their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace."

He recently donated his prestigious medal to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.