Sakharov Prize

The 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was conferred to the Ukrainian people.

Key facts

  • The 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was bestowed to the people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders, and civil society.
  • It recognizes the bravery of Ukrainians who have been affected by the Russian invasion and their role in defending freedom, democracy, rule of law, and European values on the battlefields.
  • The award will be conferred on December 14 in Strasbourg.
  • The Sakharov Prize involves prize money of 50,000 euros. It will be distributed to the representatives of Ukrainian civil society.
  • This is the second time that this award was used by EU lawmakers to send a message to Russia.
  • Last year, the Sakharov prize was conferred to the imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
  • Others who won the award in the past include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and the democratic opposition of Belarus.

About Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is conferred to individuals or groups who have dedicated their life defending human rights and freedom of thought. The award is named in honor of Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. Commonly known as Sakharov Prize, it was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament. It is conferred at the Parliament’s Strasbourg hemicycle (round chamber) in December. The first people to receive this award are South African Nelson Mandela and Russian dissident Anatoly Marchenko.

Who was Andrei Sakharov?

Andrei Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist and Nobel laureate who advocated for nuclear disarmament, peace, and human rights. He is famed for designing the USSR’s thermal nuclear weapon. He faced state persecution after he advocated for civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union. He opposed nuclear proliferation and called for the end of atmospheric tests. He also played a role in the creation of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which was signed in Moscow in 1963.




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