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Tags: russian oligarch | new york | kathy hochul | donor

Billionaire With Russian Ties Among New York Gov. Hochul's Top Donors

Kathy Hochul speaks during a convention
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during the 2022 New York State Democratic Convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City on Feb. 17. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 07 March 2022 08:04 AM EST

Campaign records show that one of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's top donors is a Soviet-born billionaire with close ties to sanctioned Russian oligarchs, the New York Post reported.

Hochul, D-N.Y., became governor in August after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace amid numerous sexual harassment allegations. She now is running to earn a full term.

Len Blavatnik, a 64-year-old aluminum and oil tycoon, donated $69,700 — the maximum allowed — to Hochul's campaign, according to records filed with the state Board of Elections, the Post reported.

He donated $10,000 to Hochul's campaign on Nov. 11, then $59,700 on Jan. 12, the Post reported.

Blavatnik donated $180,000 to Cuomo over two decades, though contributions from his wife and brother increased the contributions to the disgraced governor to $191,900, according to the BOE records.

On Feb. 27, Hochul signed an executive order directing state agencies and authorities to immediately divest public funds from Russia. That move followed after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine.

Russian oligarchs — businesspeople and officials who gained wealth and power following the collapse of the Soviet Union — have come under renewed scrutiny amid Putin's military invasion of Ukraine. European authorities have seized the yachts of oligarchs in response to the attack.

Blavatnik's Russian business partners include oligarchs Viktor Vekselberg and Oleg Deripaska, who were sanctioned by the Treasury Department after Russia was accused of meddling in the 2016 elections.

A citizen of both the U.S. and United Kingdom, Blavatnik is said to be the richest man in Great Britain, the Post reported. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine under Soviet rule and moved to Russia as a child.

He struck it rich in 2013 after Putin reportedly brokered a deal for the Russian government-controlled Rosneft petrol company to buy TNK-BP oil company for $30 billion. Blavatnik, who was a co-owner/investor of TNK-BP, now has an estimated worth of $34.2 billion.

"It is fair to consider Blavatnik the most successful oligarch to emerge from the post-Soviet space," "American Kleptocracy: How the U.S. Created the Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History" author Casey Michel said, the Post reported.

Hochul is not the only Democrat to have received money from Blavatnik.

President Joe Biden received $2,800 in 2020 and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., got $2,900 last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics opensecrets.org website.

The Post said Blavatnik also gave $104,100 to former state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned amid sex abuse allegations, and $19,500 to ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's campaign committee. Spitzer resigned following a prostitution scandal in 2007.

There also was $50,000 apiece to the New York State Democratic Committee and the Southampton Democratic Party; $25,000 to former Gov. David Paterson's campaign committee in 2009; and $9,990 to former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2013.

Blavatnik also has donated to Republican campaigns. He gave $2,400 to the Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., in 2016; and $2,800 to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a 2008 run for president.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story included a headline that incorrectly identified Len Blavatnik's country of origin.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Campaign records show that one of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's top donors is a Soviet-born billionaire with close ties to sanctioned Russian oligarchs, the New York Post reported.Hochul, D-N.Y., became governor in August after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace...
russian oligarch, new york, kathy hochul, donor
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2022-04-07
Monday, 07 March 2022 08:04 AM
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