Russia activists slam Nobel 'prize to nowhere'

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Russia activists slam Nobel 'prize to nowhere'

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Some human rights activists in Russia have criticised the choice of the European Union as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

One of the favourites for the award was Russian campaign group Memorial, founded to remember the victims of the Soviet Gulags, but which has since taken up the banner of human rights.

Svetlana Gannushkina watched the ceremony alongside 85-year-old Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the founder of Moscow’s Helsinki Group, and seen as the grandmother of Russia’s opposition.

“It’s a really strange choice in my opinion because the European Union is this huge beaurocratic government structure, and it’s not clear how it can be personalised. But I’d like to say again that I would like this to become a stimulus for the EU,” said Gannushkina.

Both women commented that they thought this was a “prize to nowhere”. Memorial has been cited on several Peace Prize shortlists in recent years.