Human rights advocates from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus share Nobel Peace Prize

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(CNN) -- Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski, and two organizations from Russia and Ukraine -- Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties -- have won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022.

The winners were honored for "an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power" in their respective countries.

"They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

Their win comes seven months after Russia waged a full-scale war on Ukraine, with the assistance of Belarus.

The Ukrainian group, Center for Civil Liberties, has "engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population," the committee said.

"In collaboration with international partners, the center is playing a pioneering role with a view to holding the guilty parties accountable for their crimes."

Memorial was founded in 1987 and, after the fall of the Soviet Union, became one of Russia's most prominent human rights watchdogs. It has worked to expose the abuses and atrocities of the Stalinist era.

The group was shut down by Russian courts in the past year, in a major blow to the country's hollowed-out civil society organizations.

"This year we were in a situation with a war in Europe, which was most unusual, but also facing a war that has a global effect on people all over the world," Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the committee, told reporters.

Reiss-Andersen said the prize is not intended to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin or any other individual But she added that he represents "an authoritarian government that is suppressing human rights activists."

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Human rights advocates from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus share Nobel Peace Prize."