A stubborn performance by Russia on the opening day of the Rugby World Cup where they came close to a monumental upset against host nation Japan, suggesting that rugby is a sport very much on the rise in Russia.
Russia took the lead early in the sold-out Ajinomoto Stadium with a try from Kirill Golosnitsky and, despite odds of 5000-1 going into the tournament, the unfancied Russian side held the lead until just before half-time, when Japan seized the initiative to go on to claim a 30-10 victory.
The 20-point margin of defeat is far smaller than many expected going into the game, but Russia have always been a dogged international side. And to fully understand the context of the result, one must delve into the history of Russian rugby.
Believe it or not, rugby union is the oldest non-indigenous sport to exist in Russia, predating football by around eight years. In the late-1880s the sport saw huge growth in various territories across the Russian Empire and clubs (many of which still exist today) formed as city-dwellers took to the sport’s aggressiveness, technique and, well, fun.
Also on rt.com Heavyweight crossover: Former England rugby star James Haskell signs to fight for Bellator MMA
However, it was later determined by the powers-that-be that rugby was a bad influence on the populace. The sport was “brutal and liable to incite demonstrations and riots”, according to an official release from the government at the time. This led to the sport moving underground as matches took place behind closed doors, far from the watchful eyes of its detractors.
Indeed, records suggest that just one official rugby game took place in Russia between 1888 and 1923, when a Russian club side (which officially didn’t exist) played the crew of a British trading vessel in Moscow in 1908, according to YouTube rugby analysis channel Squidge Rugby.
The crackdown on the sport ended in the 1920s but considerable damage had been done to what, at one point, had been a rapidly developing sport. Despite a governing body officially being formed for Soviet Rugby in 1936, it would be 38 years before they would play their first game.
From 1976 onwards, the Soviet Union rugby side began to see an improvement in form as the sport started to take hold once again at a grassroots level and they were invited to participate in the first ever World Cup in 1987, but turned it down for political reasons.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Федерация Регби России (@official_rur) on Sep 20, 2019 at 4:19am PDT
As the years passed the Russian team, as it then became, failed to develop as they might have. Funding issues were cited by many as the reason, but that changed in 2009 when money was pumped into the sport’s development when a variation of rugby – known as ‘Rugby Sevens’ – was granted Olympic status.
With the sport’s wheels greased, results sharply improved. They played in their first World Cup in 2011 and, while they lost each game, there were some promising performances as they scored numerous tries against some of world rugby’s superpowers, including Australia and Ireland.
This takes us up to the present day. The truth is, Russia will most likely lose all of their group games in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Friday’s defeat to the host nation will be followed up with tough tests against Samoa, Scotland and the world’s top-ranked team, Ireland, but these results won’t be the truest test of where the growth and development of Russian rugby currently stands.
With only a decade of finance backing it, Russian rugby remains light-years behind the top-tier nations – most of whom who have been playing top-level test matches for more than a century – but promising signs are certainly there.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Федерация Регби России (@official_rur) on Sep 14, 2019 at 10:24am PDT
For 38 minutes in the World Cup opener, the Russian team threatened to spoil Japan’s party in what is the first such tournament to ever take place in Asia. Backed by supremely aggressive forward play and excellent tactical kicking from experienced fly-half Yuri Kushnarev.
They have a backline marshaled by the outstanding Vasily Artemyev, the Russian-born fullback who grew up in Ireland in the same academy which produced one of the sport’s greatest ever players, Brian O’Driscoll. In giant lock Andrei Ostrikov, Russia have a player who has played at the top level of the sport in both England and France.
Perhaps the most impressive player currently in Russian rugby is their Dagestani openside flanker Tagir Gadzhiev who was described by one analyst as a “fundamentally violent man,” a characteristic which makes sense when you realize that he is also an MMA fighter. (RT)
The live-fire stage of the Large-Scale Operational-Tactical Exercises under the leadership of the Minister of Defense with the involvement of various types and branches of troops, Army Corps and military formations was conducted following the plan approved by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, Report informs citing the press service of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
According to the concept of the exercise, the troops worked-out the tasks on the organizing and conducting a counter-offensive operation in the mountains by delivering preventive strikes to defeat enemy groups and taking possession of strategically advantageous districts and frontiers in the liberated territories using the weapon and military equipment.
In the course of the exercises held in challenging conditions, mountain-woody and rocky terrain, as well as the electronic environment, the foremost and bypassing units fulfilled the tasks of organizing the coordination of the actions in cooperation with the main attack forces, as well as with artillery, aviation and other elements of the battle formation.
At the exercises, the main attention was paid to improving the troops control skills, as well as issues of combat, moral-psychological and logistic support.
All actions took place at various training ranges, training centers with the combat shooting stages in conditions close to combat.
During the conduct of combat firing and fire maneuver, the main attention was paid to the implementation of tactical tasks using modern weapons and military equipment.
According to the plan of large-scale exercises, upon completion of the area reconnaissance, the exercises participants organized the interaction of troops on the terrain model board, Report informs citing the press service of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
During the meeting held under the leadership of the Minister of Defense Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, the episodes have been worked out on the complex mountainous-relief terrain model board.
Azerbaijan Defense Minister has been reported on the progress of exercises, according to the Press Service of Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
Commanders of types of troops, commanders of army corps and relevant officials reported on the progress of the exercises to the Minister of Defense, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, who leads the Large-Scale Operational-Tactical Exercises.
After hearing reports on decisions made in regard to the organization of activities during the conduct of combined-arms operations, relevant tasks on troops control were assigned.
Azerbaijan marks National Music Day on the 128th anniversary of acclaimed composer Uzeyir Hajibayli.
Hajibayli’s “Leyli and Majnun”, the first opera in the Muslim world, composed and performed in 1908, revolutionized Azerbaijani music.
After this opera, contemporary Azerbaijani music embarked on its triumphal ascent, with such creations as “Sheikh Sanan”, “Asli and Kerem” and “Shah Ismail” operas, and the “Arshin mal alan” operetta, which were staged in more than 60 countries.
During the large-scale operational-tactical exercises of the Azerbaijani army, troops and command posts were redeployed to operational areas, frontal and army aviation was transferred to reserve airfields, rocket and artillery troops were deployed to reserve firing and starting positions, the country’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
According to the plan of the exercises, units providing fire support during operations are withdrawn to the established points and fulfill tasks on preparing for the next stage.
Minister of Defense Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, the leadership of the Ministry and military attaché of the Republic of Turkey in Azerbaijan, Brigadier General Ismail Hakki Koseali arrived at the airbase of the Azerbaijani and Turkish aircraft participating in the “TurAz Qartalı-2019” Joint Flight Tactical Exercises, Report informs citing the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
In the beginning, the national anthems of the two countries were played, and then the memory of the national leader Heydar Aliyev and shehids (martyrs) who died for the independence of both countries was honored with observing a minute of silence.
After welcoming the military personnel participating in the exercises, the Minister of Defense began his speech with the words of the national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev “Azerbaijan and Turkey are one nation, two states” and the leader of the Turkish people Mustafa Kemal Ataturk “The joy of Azerbaijan is our joy, the sorrow of Azerbaijan is our sorrow”.
Stressing the importance of the exercises in terms of ensuring the security of our countries, the Minister of Defense noted that this is another indicator of our military power. The Minister wished success to the exercises participants and expressed satisfaction with the conduct of military aviation flights at a high-level.
Then, distinguished guests were given a briefing on the results of the exercises.
After the concert program of the creative team of the Army Ideological and Cultural Center named after Hazi Aslanov, the participants of the exercises were presented gifts. Then a joint lunch was organized for the guests and participants of the exercises.
It should be pointed out that representatives of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan participated in the exercises as observers.
The flights were carried out in accordance with the plan of “TurAz Qartalı – 2019” Joint Flight-Tactical Exercises. Report informs citing the press service of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
The exercises involving up to 30 military aircraft of Azerbaijan and Turkey will last until September 16.
According to the world studies, consumers pay attention and consider the most useful and attractive information about the state of roads during peak hours, as well as weather forecast.
Taking these factors into account, advertising agencies and digital platform developers create creative and original advertising that meets the needs and interests of consumers. As a result, it becomes easier to attract the attention of the target audience and convey the meaning of the message in real time.
For the first time in the advertising industry of Azerbaijan, a digital, innovative form of advertising was developed for the world-famous brand Coca-Cola, using weather targeting.
Relatively recently, on monitors in the center of the capital, started appearing video ads of Coca-Cola brand, informing residents of the capital about the increase in air temperature and other parameters of weather forecast.
In the Azerbaijan advertising market, for the first time, this type of targeting in outdoor advertising, offers the Adviad platform. Adviad is a programmatic advertising platform that allow to distribute advertising messages simultaneously on all digital resources connected to the platform. In addition to local websites, the platform is integrated ad placement at Facebook, Instagram, Google, as well as monitors, in shopping centers, transport, and in the city, which are connected to the Internet.
Universal McCann Azerbaijan, the first advertising agency to offer and implement the capabilities of the Adviad platform, for Coca-Cola, in Azerbaijan. Coca-Cola is famous for its creative, strategic and innovative approach in the advertising world, and therefore the initiative of the Agency was accepted with great interest. The goal of the campaign was to inform the consumer that the Coca-Cola product should be drunk chilled, because only at a certain temperature, the drink becomes more tasty.
What solution was proposed and how was this project implemented?
The agency prepared a video clip, which integrated the advertising message “Tastes better when cold” and the weather forecast in real time. The video was placed on the monitors, buses and LED monitors in the city center, with the air temperature above 26° C, the advertising message appeared simultaneously on all planned media, thus offering consumers to cool down and refresh in the heat, with the help of their favorite drink.
The “Eternity-2019” Command and Staff Exercises participants fulfilled tasks in the field conditions, Report informs citing the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
The issues of interoperability on ensuring joint security of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, as well as countering the possible provocations of terrorist groups and eliminating their consequences were practically worked out following the scenario of the exercises, which involved servicemen from Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia.
The flights of Azerbaijani and Turkish aircraft are conducted during the TurAz Qartali – 2019 Joint Flight-Tactical Exercises which are being held in Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.
During the exercises, the military aviation of the two countries conducts flights with the aim to fulfil missions on planning the joint activities, studying the possibilities for interoperability in conducting operations and combat coordination, implementation of search and rescue operations, destruction of ground targets by air strikes, as well as other tasks.
The Pakistan Air Force representatives take part in the exercises as observers.
Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Commander of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov and Military Attaché of the Republic of Turkey in Azerbaijan, Brigadier General Ismail Hakki Koseali attended the opening ceremony of the TurAz Qartalı-2019 Flight-Tactical Exercises, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.
After welcoming the military personnel participating in the exercises, Lieutenant General Ramiz Tahirov emphasized the attention paid by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev to the Azerbaijani Army and highlighted the importance of the exercises. The commander noted that this is another indicator of the military power of Azerbaijan and stressed that these exercises play an important role in the exchange of experience between the armies of the two countries.
Stressing the importance of conducting exercises in Azerbaijan, Brigadier General Ismail Koseali expressed a sense of pride and emphasized that the holding of such joint exercises has become traditional in recent years. The military attaché congratulated the participants with the start of the exercises and wished them success in conducting high-level military aviation flights.
Then, detailed information on the purpose of the exercises, the training and deployment of personnel, the forces involved and the combat missions of aviation was presented.
The “TurAz Qartalı – 2019” Joint Flight-Tactical Exercises of the Air Forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey continue today, Report informs citing the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.
Mi-35, Mi-17, “Sikorsky” UH-70, CH-47 “Chinook”, and ATTACK/AH-1W helicopters are involved in the exercises.
According to the training plan for 2019 approved by the Minister of Defense a Command and Staff Exercise with the computer-support started at the Center for War Games of the Armed Forces, Report informs citing the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan.
The main purpose of the exercise is the improvement of the practical skills of commanders and staff officers in using forces and resources in various conditions that have arisen during the organization and conduct of the battle.
The military personnel involved in the exercises fulfill tasks on the continuous, skillful and resolute control of units by means of simulation tools during combat activity.
According to the combat training plan for 2019 approved by the Minister of Defense, training-methodical sessions were held with commanders and deputy commanders of battalions of formations and military units of the Army Corps, Report informs citing the press service of the Ministry of Defense.
Theoretical knowledge and practical skills of military personnel in combat and fire training, as well as driving, were checked.
During conducting combat firing at night in the course of the practical part of the training sessions, the commanders and deputy commanders of the battalions fulfilled the tasks on units management and fire control.
According to the combat training plan for 2019 approved by the Minister of Defense, the Air Defense units of the Army Corps conducted combat firing, Report informs citing the press service of the Ministry of Defense.
During training exercises, combat crews discovered and destroyed moving targets of various parameters.
The command staff highly appreciated the knowledge, abilities and practical skills of military personnel who successfully fulfilled the tasks.
Earlier, the Pakistani ambassador to Azerbaijan said that “India’s actions in Kashmir aim to change demographic background”.