On Monday, Feb. 28, the Board of Directors for The World Games 2022 voted to ban the countries of Russia and Belarus from participating in the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, according to an article published on WVTM13 on the same day. This decision was made in accordance with a recommendation from the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.
The World Games will occur in Birmingham from July 7-17 of this year, and athletes and attendees from countries all over the world are set to attend. According to WVTM13, Russia had 62 athletes certified to compete in the games, and Belarus had 11.
After Russia officially invaded Ukraine, many countries in NATO made similar decisions, such as suspending Russian soccer teams from international soccer, freezing Russian assets in their respective countries, and ceasing interactions with Russian banks, according to WVTM13. These decisions show support for Ukraine by punishing Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin.
Despite these consequences, Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine with vigor. Russia has already lost 7,000 soldiers, according to a March 16 story from The New York Times. This number from the three-week long war on Ukraine is larger than the total number of American troops that died in both Iraq and Afghanistan over a span of 20 years. Over 150,000 total Russian troops are involved in the war, according to The New York Times.
Many Ukrainian cities are under siege and have suffered civilian casualties, but one in particular has grabbed the world’s attention. The port city of Mariupol has been under siege for over two weeks. According to a March 17 update in The New York Times, Russia destroyed a maternity hospital in the city last week and on Wednesday, March 16, bombed a theater where 1,000 civilians had taken shelter.
The United States is responding to Russia’s actions in ways other than the ban from the World Games. According to The New York Times, on March 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the U.S. Congress, requesting more aid from U.S. President Joe Biden, whom he called the “leader of the world.” In response, Biden announced that the U.S. would send $800 million of “security assistance” to Ukraine, bringing the total amount of aid donated to $2 billion, according to a statement from The White House on March 16. This assistance will include advanced military weaponry. The U.S. is only one of 30 countries worldwide that have assisted Ukraine in this way since the war began.