Axios PM

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February 24, 2022

Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 419 words, a 1.5-minute read.

🚨Follow Axios' live updates on the Ukraine invasion.

1 big thing: Biden punches back

Data: The New York Times; Mapbox/OSCE; Map: Will Chase and Jared Whalen/Axios
Data: The New York Times; Mapbox/OSCE; Map: Will Chase and Jared Whalen/Axios

President Biden unveiled new coordinated sanctions against Russia this afternoon that target Russia's financial institutions and elite families.

  • "Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences," Biden said.

The big picture: The European Union, Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are joining the U.S. with similar actions as a "force multiplier," according to the White House.

  • Russia's largest financial institution will be cut off from the U.S. financial system, reports Axios' Zachary Basu and Oriana Gonzalez.
  • "Full-blocking" sanctions will be imposed on four additional Russian banks.
  • New debt restrictions will be imposed on 13 Russian state-owned enterprises and entities that together hold nearly $1.4 trillion in assets.
  • The U.S. will impose sweeping export controls on technologies critical to the Russian defense sector and broader economy.
  • Seven Russian elites and their family members who hold some of the highest positions of power in the country will also be sanctioned.

The bottom line: Biden said there is "a complete rupture right now in U.S. and Russia relations" and that sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin himself remains on the table.

2. 📷 The scene in Kyiv

Traffic jams as people leave Kyiv. Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S. told reporters today that fighting is ongoing near the capital city of Kyiv, but the city is currently "secure."

The big picture: The UN refugee agency urged countries that neighbor Ukraine to "keep borders open" and provide "safety and protection" to Ukrainians fleeing Russia's attacks.

3. Russian protesters defy Putin

Police arrest a protester in St. Petersburg, Russia, today. Photo: Sergei Mikhailichenko/AFP via Getty Images

Russian police detained more than 650 people participating in protests today against Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

Go deeper: Photos from protests around the world.

4. 👟 50,000 smiles to go

New York City Marathon start in 1998, when there were 32,000 runners. Photo: Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

The New York City Marathon will return to full capacity, with an estimated 50,000 runners on Nov. 6, Reuters reports.

  • The race, one of the most prestigious events on the global running calendar, was canceled in 2020 because of COVID.
  • It returned last year with a reduced field of 30,000 runners.

Runners must be vaccinated. On-course entertainment will be back.

  • "Last year's marathon served as an uplifting and unifying moment for New York City's recovery as well as a symbol of renewed hope, inspiration, and perseverance," race director Ted Metellus said.

The 26.2-mile run through the city's five boroughs draws hundreds of thousands of people along the course in a citywide celebration.