Thursday, March 3rd
March 4, 2022
Russian forces have officially seized control of Kherson, a strategic port city in Ukraine. They aim to cut off Ukraine’s sea access. This happened while the advance on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, was stalled. Local officials have finally admitted to Russia’s control of Kherson.
One day before the start of the Paralympics, the International Paralympic Committee banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the Beijing 2022 Paralympics. Although the IPC’s President, Andrew Parsons, did not want politics to influence the games, many athletes and countries were threatening to back out of the games. The threats were so significant that the games did not seem likely to occur unless the IPC banned Russian and Belarussian athletes.
President Biden asked Congress for $10 billion in humanitarian, economic, and security assistance for Ukraine. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda D. Young sent the request via letter where she explained how the budget would be split and allocated.
The budget break down as follows:
- Department of Defense (DOD) — $4.8 million
- Department of State (State) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – $5.0 billion
- Department of Commerce – $21 million
- Department of Energy – $30 million
- Department of Justice – $59 million
- Department of Treasury – $91 million
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – $18.25 billion
- Department of State (State) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – $4.25 billion
Russia and Ukraine commenced their second round of peace talks. Ukrainian lawmaker David Arakhamia and one of President Zelensky’s advisors, Mykhailo Podolyak, admitted that their goal for the peace talks was to reach an agreement with Russia on establishing “humanitarian corridors”.
In response to economic sanctions, Russia’s space agency decided to stop selling rocket engines to the US. However, their ban might not have the effect they anticipated.
While the dollar and the euro have both hit all-time highs, the Russian ruble is reaching new lows. Moody’s Investors Service, a corporation that provides international financial research on bonds to investors, labeled Russia’s credit as non-investment grade. They also down-graded the ruble to “not prime” in short-term ratings. Due to grave economic turmoil, Thursday is the fourth day that Moscow’s stock exchange has remained closed.