Russia's ultimate news dump
The World Cup kicks off today in Russia, and the rather weak home team has a chance for victory — they're up against Saudi Arabia — so the Kremlin has seized the moment to announce some painful economic reforms.
Why it matters: Russia's working-age population is projected to shrink by 20% between now and 2050, so the decision to raise retirement ages (from 60 to 65 for men by 2028; from 55 to 63 for women by 2034) seems sensible, though it's the first hike in modern Russian history, per Meduza. Meanwhile, Putin says fixing the economy and reducing poverty will be top priorities in his new six-year term. The decision to raise the value-added tax from 18% to 20% is expected to bring in $32 billion over that period.