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Novaya Gazeta and Gorbachev Push Khamatova for Nobel

Chulpan Khamatova speaks at an event for her Gift of Life foundation (Podari Zhizn). Denis Grishkin

Novaya Gazeta will move to nominate Chulpan Khamatova and Dina Korzun, founders of the Gift of Life foundation, for the Nobel Prize with the help of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Novaya Gazeta editor in chief Dmitry Muratov said Sunday.

"On Saturday, I consulted with colleagues at the newspaper and they supported me: nominate Dina Korzun, Chulpan Khamatova and the Gift of Life foundation for the Nobel Prize for the selfless saving of thousands of children's lives," Muratov wrote in a statement on the newspaper's LiveJournal blog.

Muratov said former Soviet leader and Nobel laureate Mikhail Gorbachev expressed support without thinking twice. "I'll nominate them!" Muratov quoted Gorbachev as saying in a telephone conversation between the two.

Besides members of the Nobel Prize committee, members of national assemblies and governments, university rectors and professors, and several other select personages, those who have received the prize in the past can also advance candidates for the prize.

"We'll talk with people in parliament and government representatives who can also give official support for nominating candidates for the Nobel Prize," Muratov said.

Reacting to the news, Khamatova thanked Novaya Gazeta for its cooperation with her organization in the past.

"The newspaper has always helped draw public attention to the most painful problems of pediatric oncology, and thanks to the participation of Novaya [Gazeta] we were able to break the deadlock on complex issues," she wrote in her blog at Echo Moskvy.

Khamatova and Korzun founded Gift of Life in November 2006. The foundation holds concerts in support of children sick with cancer, and also organizes exhibits and excursions. The organization's site says it "offers hope and practical care to children and young adults whose families cannot afford treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses."

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