Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kremlin Hoped World Cup Would Distract Russians (and Others) from Far More than Pension Age Boost

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 14 – It has become a commonplace that Vladimir Putin and his regime hoped that the month-long World Cup competition in Russia would distract Russians – and many beyond its borders – from Moscow’s plans to raise pension ages on the Russian population and from any protests against that action.

            But that was far from the only Kremlin action that the Putin regime hoped football games would distract people from, as the BBC’s Russian Service points out. In a new article, it provides a convenient checklist of all the unpleasant and unwelcome policy actions Moscow took during this period (

            In addition to the pension-age boost, these actions and responses to them include:

·         Raising the VAT which will push up prices and inflation.

·         Protests about raising the pension age.

·         The going into effect of the repressive Yarovaya laws.

·         The way the regime calculates time in detention centers in calculating prison sentences.

·         Government access to individual Russian bank accounts and information about them

·         New Tariffs on American goods.

·         Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike

·         Russian incomes again are beginning to fall.

·         More Russians are classified as “foreign agents.”

·         Russia strips another journalist of accreditation.

·         Karelian court will try Memorial activist Yury Dmitriyev again and for more serious charges.

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