Posted 10 декабря 2021,, 13:52

Published 10 декабря 2021,, 13:52

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Dmitry Muratov: "I want journalists to die old" (the full speech)

Dmitry Muratov: "I want journalists to die old" (the full speech)

10 декабря 2021, 13:52
"I want journalists to die old!" - this was the leitmotif of the speech of the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta during the presentation of the Nobel Prize on December 10.

Your Majesties! Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Nobel Committee, distinguished guests!

On the morning of October 8, my mother called me. She asked what's new.

- Why, - I say, - mother, we received the Nobel Prize ...

- It's good. What else is new?

... Now, mom, I'll tell you everything.

“I am convinced that freedom of opinion, along with other civil liberties, is the foundation of progress.

I defend the thesis about the decisive importance of civil and political freedoms in shaping the fate of mankind!

I am convinced that international trust, disarmament and security are unthinkable without an open society, freedom of information, beliefs, publicity .

Peace, progress, human rights - these three goals are inextricably linked".

This is from the Nobel speech of Academician Andrey Sakharov, a citizen of the Earth, a great thinker.

This speech was delivered right here in this city on Thursday, December 11, 1975 by his wife, Yelena Bonner.

I considered it necessary for Sakharov's words to be heard here, in the world-famous hall, for the second time.

Why is it so important now for us, for me?

The world has fallen out of love with democracy.

The world has become disillusioned with the ruling elites.

The world is drawn to dictatorship.

The illusion arose that progress can be achieved by technology and violence, and not by the observance of human rights and freedoms.

Such is progress without freedom.

Such milk without a cow...

Dictatorships provided themselves with easier access to violence.

In our country (and not only in our country) the idea is popular: those politicians who avoid blood are weak people.

But to threaten the world with war is the duty of true patriots.

The authorities are actively selling the idea of war.

Governments and propagandists close to them bear full responsibility for the militaristic rhetoric on state television channels.

Under the influence of aggressive marketing of war, people become accustomed to the idea of its permissibility.

But I also saw other people on other televisions. Honest and scary.

During the Chechen war, five white refrigerator cars stood on the rails at one station. There was security around them around the clock. It was a morgue on wheels of the 124th Department of Defense laboratory.

The refrigerated trucks contained the unidentified bodies of soldiers and officers.

Many no longer had faces from direct hits or torture. The head of the laboratory, Captain First Rank Shcherbakov, did everything so that there were no nameless soldiers left. And in a small house near the tracks there was a TV set. In armchairs, as in a waiting room, were the mothers and fathers of the missing soldiers. And an operator with a video camera broadcast images of bodies on the screen one after another. One by one. 458 times. So many military men were lying on the shelves of these cars at minus 15 degrees in their last train that came along the route "War - Death".

Mothers who had been looking for their boys in the mountains and gorges of Chechnya for many months, seeing their son's face on the screen, shouted: “This is not him! It's not him!"

And this was him.

The current ideologues are promoting the idea of death for the Motherland, not life for the Motherland. Let's not let this TV of theirs fool ourselves again.

Hybrid warfare, the tragic, ugly and criminal story with the Boeing MN-17 destroyed relations between Russia and Ukraine, and I don't know if the next generations will be able to restore them... Moreover, in the sick heads of geopoliticians, the war between Russia and Ukraine has ceased to seem impossible.

But I know - wars end with the identification of soldiers and the exchange of prisoners. During the Chechen war, Novaya Gazeta and our observer Major Izmailov were able to free 174 people from captivity. If now, in my new capacity, I can do something to return the still living prisoners to their homes, tell me. I'm ready.

I want to remember another person who received the Nobel Peace Prize in this room in 1990.

Moscow. Kremlin. 18 April 1988. There is a meeting of the Politburo. One of the Soviet ministers demands to leave the troops in Afghanistan, Mikhail Gorbachev harshly interrupts him: “Stop your hawk scream!".

"Stop the hawk scream!"

Isn't it a modern program for politics and journalism - to establish a life without funerals?

But in the center of Europe, the game of the Belarusian President Lukashenko was added to the events in the east of Ukraine on the verge of a lot of blood. His servicemen are driving refugees from the Middle East under machine guns on a chain of machine gunners guarding the borders of the European Union. The parties accuse each other, and distraught people rush literally between two fires.

We are journalists, our job is clear: to separate fact and falsehood. A new generation of professional journalists knows how to work with big data, with information bases. And we studied them, we found whose aircraft are delivering refugees to the point of conflict. Just the facts.

Belarusian planes have more than quadrupled flights to Minsk from the Middle East this fall. Six flights were in August-November 2020 and 27 flights - for the same months this year. 4.5 thousand people were brought by a Belarusian company for a possible breakthrough of the border this year, and only 600 people - in past. And the same amount - 6,000 refugees - delivered by the airline from Iraq.

This is how armed provocations and conflicts are organized. We, journalists, having found out how it works, did our job. Next is the business of the politicians.

The people for the state or the state for the people? This is the main conflict today.

Stalin resolved this conflict with massive repressions.

The practice of torture in prisons and during the investigation continues in modern Russia. Abuse, rape, appalling conditions of detention, a ban on visits, a call to a mother on her birthday, an endless extension of detention. Before the trial, people with serious illnesses are sent to jail, they have sick children hostage, they are required to confess guilt without presenting evidence.

Criminal cases on false charges are often political in our country. Opposition politician Alexei Navalny is being held in the camp on a false denunciation by the Russian director of the largest perfume company in France. The director wrote a statement, but was not summoned to court and did not recognize himself as a victim ... But Navalny is sitting. The perfume company itself chose to step aside, hoping that the smell of this business would not harm the aroma of its products.

We hear more and more about torture used against prisoners and detainees. People are tortured in order to break down, in order to increase the severity of the punishment outside the sentence. This is wildness.

I am taking the initiative to create an International Tribunal against Torture, whose task is to collect data on the use of torture in different parts of the world and states. Identify the executioners and their owners involved in such crimes.

I hope, of course, first of all, for investigative journalists from all over the world.

Torture must be recognized as a grave crime against humanity.

By the way, Novaya Gazeta continues to be published on paper as well. So that we can be read in prisons: there is no internet.

Two tendencies are currently struggling in Russia.

On the one hand, the Russian President is helping to erect a monument to the 100th anniversary of Academician Sakharov.

On the other hand, in our country the Prosecutor General's Office demands to liquidate the Memorial society . Memorial is involved in the rehabilitation of victims of Stalinist repressions. And prosecutors accuse him of "violation of human rights"!

Let me remind you Memorial was created by Sakharov.

Maybe the monument to the dead Sakharov is safer than his living, working project?

Memorial is not an enemy of the people.

Memorial is a friend of the people.

...We, of course, understand that this award is given to the entire professional community of true journalists.

My colleagues exposed the laundering technologies and returned billions of stolen rubles to the budget, opened offshore areas, and stopped the felling of Siberian forests. As a result, the state supported the efforts of Novaya Gazeta, Ekho Moskvy, Dozhd and other colleagues in treating children with rare diseases who need the most expensive medicines in the world.

(By the way, I hope, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, on whom the fate of children and young adults depends with orphan diseases (including those with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), they will sit with us at a round table. Maybe they will spend on affordable drugs and early screening diagnostics?

Maybe the rich world will find money for tens of thousands of boys and girls who still have life?)

We pass this award on to help sick people and support independent journalism.

But journalism in Russia is going through dark times now. Over the past few months, more than a hundred journalists, media, human rights defenders and NGOs have received the status of "foreign agents". In Russia they are “enemies of the people”. Many of our colleagues were unemployed. Someone is forced to leave the country.

A person is deprived of their usual life for an unknown time. Maybe forever ... This has happened in our history.

Next year will be 100 years since September 29 from St. Petersburg went to Germany, to the port of Stetten, "Philosophical steamer" - the next flight on which the Bolsheviks expelled from Russia almost 300 prominent representatives of the intellectual elite. On the steamer Oberburgermaister Haken they sent into exile the future inventor of helicopters Sikorsky, the creator of television Zvorykin, philosophers Frank, Ilyin, Pitirim Sorokin. The greatest thinker Nikolai Berdyaev was also there. Like everyone else, he was allowed to take pajamas, two shirts, two pairs of socks, and a winter coat. So the Motherland said goodbye to its great citizens: leave your things, and you can take your brains with you.

The picture repeats itself with journalists and human rights activists.

Now, instead of the "philosophical steamer", the "journalistic plane" departs.

This is a metaphor, of course, but dozens of representatives of our profession are leaving Russia.

But someone was deprived of such an opportunity.

Orkhan Dzhemal, Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguev, Russian journalists, were mercilessly shot in the Central African Republic, where they came to investigate the activities of one of the Russian private military companies. Orkhan's widow, Ira Gordienko works for us at Novaya Gazeta. Since the murder, on June 30, 2018, she exposes the lies of the official investigation . Here's just one detail for you: invaluable material evidence - the clothes of the victims were simply burned by the police authorities of the Central African Republic! The Russian investigation has not achieved any results. And international too. UN Secretary General António Guterres promised to assist in the investigation. He probably forgot about it. Here, I remind you.

... I, of course, as always, may be asked: why did your colleagues get there?

And to testify. To prove. To see it in person. So that, as the great war photographer Robert Capa said: "If you don't like your picture, then you weren't close enough".

"Isn't it scary?" - the most frequent question for my colleagues.

This is their mission. When governments are continually improving the past, journalists are trying to improve the future.

And this award is for all real journalism. This award was given to my dead colleagues from Novaya Gazeta - Igor Domnikov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Anastasia Baburova, and Stas Markelov, Natasha Estemirova. This award is also given to living colleagues, a community that fulfills a professional duty.

...The day before the announcement of this award, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. The murderers received fair sentences, but the person who ordered the crime was not found, and the statute of limitations has expired. I officially declare: The editors of Novaya Gazeta do not recognize this limitation period.

...In Russian and in English, and in other languages there is a saying: "The dog barks, but the caravan goes on" - The dog bark's, but the caravan goes on. It is interpreted as follows: nothing will interfere with the forward movement of the caravan. Sometimes the authorities speak dismissively about journalists. They bark, but they don't affect anything.

And I recently learned that the meaning of the saying has the opposite meaning.

The caravan moves forward because the dogs are barking.

They growl and rush at predators in the mountains and deserts. And movement forward is possible only when they accompany the caravan.

Yes, we growl and bite. We have fangs and grip.

But we are the condition of movement.

We are the antidote to tyranny.


I wanted to save a minute.

Let us stand up and honor a minute of silence between our fellow reporters, Maria Resse, who gave their lives for this profession, and support those who are persecuted.

I want journalists to die old.

* The Human Rights Society "Memorial" is included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of NGOs performing the function of a foreign agent, which we are obliged to report at the first mention of the oldest human rights association. Novaya Gazeta disagrees with this interpretation and calls for an end to pressure on Memorial and the withdrawal of claims to declare the society “extremist”.

The source of the text is Novaya Gazeta.