2004 OG were great for Russia, but it was 15 years ago! That is what I mean that even 2013 or 2015 are long gone. Nobody says Russia is worse than Poland or Turkey, just that you really don't know what to expect from them. We don't know what shape they will be in. And you just talk about them like they are WCH or olympic champions, you cannot be sure if they would advance if they had Netherlands, Serbia , Italy, USA or China in their pool.
I never talk about them as if they are champion of WCH or OGs. I used those words in my previous post "Italy, Serbia, China, Usa, Japan, Brazil, Netherlands are better than Russia according to last performance in WCH". Also we got 8th place in last WCH, without Malykh, Khodunova, Goncharova and Kosheleva.
If we don't know their current shape, that's why I used those words in my previous posts "let's wait and see capabilities of teams in OGQ, ECH and World Cup. After NTs season we may discuss such topics. Yes, everything is possible Poland and Turkey also can surprise us in ECH. That's why I think it's better to wait and see. Russia played awful in VNL, but their capability is much more than that. We played 5 sets against Usa and it's not excuse Pankov said that Galkina got injuried after 3rd set in that game and Talysheva gave that game to Usa with her worse receiving skills. That's why she is out of NT this year.