Lolita Lopez/ Bobbie Eng
A native Ukrainian embarked on a road trip to raise funds and awareness for the Ukrainian people. Lolita Lopez reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 6 on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
A Ukrainian-American man made a stop in Southern California in his cross-country trek to raise awareness about the political unrest in his native homeland.
Viktor Kee was in Santa Monica on Tuesday, two days after he began his two-week road trip in San Francisco. He hopes the "Help Ukraine Project," which will eventually end in New York, will raise money to help the families of the victims and the children who lost their parents during the nation’s turmoil.
"It's supposed to be a symbolic trip to support the Ukrainian people that they want to move to the west, to democracy, to freedom," said Kee, who is half Ukrainian and half Russian.
Kee, who has been in the U.S. for the last 23 years, has been monitoring the tension closely as Russian military forces move into Crimea, a republic within Ukraine located on the Black Sea, an ousted president and unstable government.
Kee is taking time off from the Cirque du Solei show, where he juggles and acts. He plans to make stops in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington and New York.
Kee is driving his 2003 Porsche 911 4S, which is decked out in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and a friend who works at a TV station in Kiev. Kee described his car as a “symbol" of his project.
Kee hopes to collect signatures of the people he meets on his journey on an Ukrainian flag and then present it at the main square in Kiev.