|Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse during his vacation outside the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on August 3, 2009. AFP PHOTO / RIA-NOVOSTI / ALEXEY DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images|
President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, according to director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute Geir Lundestad. The announcement on Wednesday comes at an awkward time as Russia currently stands accused of invading Ukraine, something most people recognize as one of the most un-peaceful things a leader can do.
Voice of Russia notes that the nomination had likely been submitted back in October, when Putin had just acted as a main figure in the deal to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons. This didn't take into account that Putin was also providing Syria with conventional weapons, but such is the way the Nobel Peace Prize works. It's a system much like the Pulitzer Prize, where it's actually surprisingly easy to get nominated for the award and often doesn't really mean anything.
In order to secure a spot on the list, essentially all that's required is for a group or individual who falls under the broad criteria set by the Nobel Committee to formally submit your name and good deeds. The committee then selects from these nominations, but takes no responsibility for the pool of candidates they choose from. This process has resulted in some truly terrible people being proposed over the years, including but not limited to: Joseph Stalin (twice), Adolf Hitler (as a protest), and Rush Limbaugh. Putin was also nominated last year and faced similar criticism as today.
While the Nobel Committee has made some controversial picks in the past, including Henry Kissinger, it's highly unlikely Putin will get the nod for the prize. Instead, the announcement acts as a sounding off point for all the many reasons Putin shouldn't win, as well as a reminder that despite the many incredible people who have won the award, we might put too much emphasis on the tiny cabal of Norwegians that annually crowns the best person in the world.