The Russian government announced a series of unpopular measures that include the raising of the retirement age and the Value Added Tax, just a few hours before its World Cup. The retirement age, currently set at 60 years for men and 55 for women, will increase for the first time in more than eight decades, to 65 years. The VAT will increase in 2019 from 18 to 20 percent. The background of these profound changes is the foreseeable lack of funds in the Russian public coffers.

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