Nobel Peace Prize-winning newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov posted a selfie on Telegram after a reported attack on a Russian train.
CNN  — 

A Nobel Peace Prize-winning newspaper editor says he was attacked with red paint while traveling on a train in Russia.

Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the independent Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, said he was attacked on Thursday during a train ride from Moscow to the city of Samara, when an unidentified individual poured red paint all over him and his belongings.

Muratov, who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless defense of freedom of speech in Russia, told CNN earlier this week that half the country’s population was against the war in Ukraine.

In a post on Telegram on Thursday, Muratov said: “They poured oil paint with acetone in the compartment. My eyes burned terribly. Moscow-Samara train. Oily smell all over the car. Departure has already been delayed by 30 minutes. I’ll try to wash off. (The attacker) shouted: ‘Muratov, here’s to you for our boys.’”

A spokeswoman for the newspaper, which last month announced that it was suspending publication until the end of the war in Ukraine, told CNN that Muratov’s eyes “seem to be ok.”

Earlier this week, Muratov told CNN’s “Amanpour” show that his team were “forced” to stop operating due to “military censorship.”

During the interview, Muratov said it was “impossible to look at” photos from scenes from Mariupol, Melitopol, Bucha and other Ukrainian communities, adding that: “This will become a huge case study of what dictatorship means.”

For the past 20 years, Russian people have been subjected to “total propaganda,” he said, the effect of which was “the same as radiation.”

“This propaganda has won a victory but not over everyone,” he added.

Muratov said by the Kremlin’s own estimation some 25 million Russians are against the “special operation” in Ukraine, but that his organization estimates that figure to be as high as half the population. As of July 2021, Russia’s population was estimated at around 142 million.

“Those who refuse to be zombies, that half of the country is for peace and against war,” he told CNN.

Last month, Muratov revealed plans to auction off his Nobel Peace Prize medal to support Ukrainian refugees.

In a statement published on the newspaper’s website, Muratov said the droves of “wounded and sick children” requiring “urgent treatment” compelled him to offer up the prestigious medal.

CNN’s Eoin McSweeney in Abu Dhabi and Niamh Kennedy in London contributed to this report.