Russia has consistently been a major volleyball force since the very beginning of international competition. The former Soviet Union joined the FIVB in 1948, a year after the foundation of the international governing body, and in 1949 competed in the first FIVB World Championship. In 2018, Russia is competing in the World Championships for the 19th time. It is the only country to have taken part in every single edition of the competition since its introduction in 1949. In that time, Russia has collected six World Championship titles, six World Cups and 14 European Championship golds.
Russia was successful in the FIVB World Cup in 2011 and secured Olympic gold for the fourth time at London 2012 – their first since the break-up of the Soviet Union. They failed to defend their title at Rio 2016, finishing in fourth place after the USA came back from two sets down to win 3-2 in the bronze medal match.
Russia are currently the reigning European champions, after beating Germany 3-2 in the final of the 2017 edition in Krakow. It was their 14th gold (in addition to three silver and five bronze medals) in 30 editions of the competition. They have already enjoyed a golden 2018, making history as the inaugural winners of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, and will be looking to make it an unforgettable year with victory in Italy.