Ex-New York Gov. George Pataki is set to travel to Ukraine to aid people displaced by the months-long war, in his first time in the country after making similar trips to the region, officials announced Thursday.
During a press conference at the famous Ukrainian diner Veselka, it was revealed that the 76-year-old Republican will fly to the war-torn country to provide housing assistance to its struggling residents, many of whom have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the late February Russian invasion.
“We have a group going over tonight and I am going to be going over in the next day,” Pataki — who woke up feeling under the weather — said Thursday in the East Village.
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The nonprofit Governor George E. Pataki Leadership and Learning Center is raising funds for and sourcing temporary homes.
The latest trip comes after in March Pataki led a delegation to supply humanitarian relief to 200,000 Ukrainian refugees who had escaped their homeland and went to Hungary, where the former pol’s paternal grandparents were from.
While there, Pataki said Ukrainians told him they want the US and NATO to set up a No-Fly Zone with the aim of halting Russian bombing.
In early April, Pataki made his second mission to the Ukraine-Hungary border, where his foundation is building mobile-housing units for refugees.
During his coming trip to the war-ravaged region and first inside Ukraine, Pataki hopes to visit Kyiv and meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, he said.
Todd Shapiro, a rep for Pataki, explained that the former Empire State chief executive woke up Thursday morning and felt sick, but that he will go anyway.
“Knowing Gov. Pataki, he’s strong, he’s a tiger,” said the public relations pro. “He will be in the Ukraine this week..”
Oleksii Holubov — Consul General of Ukraine in New York — praised Pataki for his efforts.
“I’m visiting Ukraine in person, Gov. Pataki paves the way for American political leaders and American business,” Holubov said. “Thank you New York for standing with Ukraine, helping us, shoulder by shoulder.”
“Helping Ukrainians with temporary homes is much appreciated,” he added. “We appreciate the personal leadership, dedication and devotion Gov. Pataki demonstrates visiting Ukraine.”