Russia is going to host one of the most awaited soccer tournaments - 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will begin on 14th June and end on 15th July. The games are going to be held across 12 stadiums throughout the country. To welcome this event in a grand philatelic manner, new Russian stamps have been released on 1st December 201`6 that combine New Year Greetings with the mascot of 2018 FIFA World Cup. The mascot is called Zabivaka, which means “the one who scores” in Russian. It has been designed by a college student Ekaterina Bocharova.
22 rubles, 33r and 35r self-adhesive stamps feature Zabivaka in different poses with a soccer ball. Each stamp also has an inscription which translates to “Happy New Year.” They were issued in a sheet of nine. A souvenir sheet featuring Zabivaka was also issued on 27th October 2017, and a set of four was released on 20th December featuring soccer and art.