Russian Post offices received a stamp with Zabivaka the wolf, the Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, according to the JSC Marka, publisher and distributer of the 2018 World Cup official philatelic products.
A 102x7 mm postal block in size contains a 30x42mm stamp and costs 100 roubles. It was issued with a circulation of 250,000 copies.
In addition to the stamps, Russia released envelopes and special postmarks for Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Saransk and Sochi.
Volgograd held the official ceremony with the aid and participation of the city volunteers. Volunteer candidates became the main assistants and viewers of the event.
The 2018 World Cup regional committee noted that the Offical Mascot is playing an important role in preparations for the tournament. "Zabivaka will help us inform every one of the upcoming tournament, will entertain the audience at the stadiums, will become an international celebrity and Russia’s ambassador to other countries," the committee said.
Volunteers took part in the special cancellation ceremony in Saransk as well. The event took place in the main office of Mordovia Post. Director of Mordovia’s Federal Postal Service Vyacheslav Makeichev led the ceremony along with football coach Sergei Savochkin and young footballers Mikhail Fedak and Nikolay Boyarkinl.
"The event is important for us," Makeichev said. "For the first time the cancellation ceremony was attended by young athletes, our football’s future. We believe that sooner or later they will participate in the World Cup."
Issuing philatelic products dedicated to the World Cup is a world-wide tradition. The 2018 World Cup Philatelic Programme envisions more than 130 items. This includes 58 postal stamps and 4 postal blocks, 13 first day envelopes, 23 postcards and 34 creative pre-stamped envelopes as well as various souvenir sets, booklets and much more. In total, more than 70 million copies of these products will be produced.