Report: Billionaire Linked to Russian Oligarchs Is Major Donor to NY Gov. Hochul
A Soviet-born billionaire linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs reportedly donated the maximum amount to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D-NY) campaign, according to the New York Post.
Meanwhile, Hochul said in a social media post on Wednesday officials were “taking aggressive action to ensure the power of the New York economy holds Putin and his oligarchs accountable”:
We are taking aggressive action to ensure the power of the New York economy holds Putin and his oligarchs accountable.
We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine.https://t.co/HfoffAttZh
— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) March 2, 2022
She also expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
The Postreport from Sunday continued:
Len Blavatnik donated $69,700 — the maximum allowed — to Hochul’s election campaign since she took over as governor following Andrew Cuomo’s resignation in August, campaign records filed with the state Board of Elections reveal. Blavatnik, 64, delivered an initial $10,000 to Hochul’s gubernatorial campaign on Nov. 11, then $59,700 on Jan. 12, the filings show.
Kremlin-connected oligarchs and those who’ve made their fortunes in Russian business deals have come under renewed scrutiny amid Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine. European authorities have seized the yachts of oligarchs in response to the incursion.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an interview Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union that Putin was “destined to lose” the ongoing war with Ukraine.
“The Ukrainian people have demonstrated that they will not allow themselves to be subjugated to Vladimir Putin or to Russia’s rule. But it could take — it could take some time,” he added.
Thanks to his American citizenship, Blavatnik’s campaign donations are considered legal, and he addressed the issue in a statement through his Access Industries company, according to the Post.
Billionaire mogul with Russia ties emerges as major donor to Hochul, numerous pols https://t.co/ntWV5lVLwqpic.twitter.com/2uMLMlyCOu
— New York Post (@nypost) March 7, 2022
“As an American citizen for nearly 40 years, Mr. Blavatnik has made donations in support of both Democrats and Republicans,” the statement read. “The donations are motivated by his desire to further a pro-business, pro-Israel agenda in government. The donations are a matter of public record and comply with all legal requirements,” it concluded.
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized NATO for not enforcing a no-fly zone in Ukraine, Breitbart News reported Saturday.
“Knowing that new strikes and casualties are inevitable, NATO deliberately decided NOT to close the sky over Ukraine,” he stated in a video address.