Russia - Names Guide

A short guide to the names of all teams competing at four top levels of Russian football
in the season of 2008. Translations and explanations are given where possible.
The clubs named after their cities are not included.

A general note: It was a tradition in Soviet times to give clubs representing various
secret/military plants/factories the 'bright' names like Rubin [Ruby], Iskra [Sparkle],
Salyut [Fireworks]. Nowadays, the connection between the historical names and plants,
factories, ministries, agencies is obsolete or very loose.

Academia - the club represents Yuriy Konoplyov Football Academy.
Alania - the name of the republic.
AlNas - Almetyevskiye Nasosy (Almetyevsk Pumps); the name of the owner, a pump factory.
Al-Pari - the club is sponsored by a large agricultural holding AlPari.
Amkar - conjugation of 'ammonia' and 'carbamide', two main chemicals produced by the Perm
          fertilizer plant that owns the team
Amur - name of the large Far East river dividing Russia and China.
Anzhi - the ancient name of Makhachkala.
Apatit - Apatite. The club comes from a region rich in apatites.
Aroma - the abbreviation of the name of the club owner, Aleksandr ROMAnenko.
Arsenal - the name aims to reflect the long-standing tradition of weapons production in
            Tula.
Avangard - Advance Guard; one of the Soviet sport societies that incorporated transport
             and heavy engineering workers.
Avtodor - derived from 'avtodoroga' (=highway); the club is affiliated with a car and road
            service company.
Baltika - the Baltics.
Biolog - Biologist. The club is owned by the Armavir Biological Manufacturing Plant.
Burya - Windstorm. The name is derived from the name of Burevestnik (=Petrel) Sport School
          which is the base for the football club.
Cement - the club is affiliated with the large Sebryakovo Asbestos Cement Plant.
Chernomorets - Black Sea shore dweller.
Chertanovo - the name of one of the Moscow districts where the well-known football school
               is based.
CSKA - Centralny Sportivny Klub Armii (=Central Army Sport Club). The name only for Moscow
         club. Often nicknamed 'Koni' (=Horses).
DagDiesel - represent Kaspiysk agricultural machine factory DagDiesel.
Dinamo - name for the clubs (formerly) affiliated with the interior forces, police, etc.
           As of 2008, there's 11 clubs named Dinamo which makes it the most popular name.
           Often nicknamed 'Musor' (=Trash).
Dolgiye Prudy - Long Ponds. The natural reserve that also gave name to the city of
                  Dolgoprudny.
Don - name of the river.
Druzhba - Friendship.
DYSS - Detsko-Yunosheskaya Sportivnaya Shkola (=Children and Youth Sport School).
EcoLab - the club is owned by the biochemical laboratory equipment manufacturing plant.
Energetik - Power Engineer; the club is affiliated with an energy company NizhNovEnergo.
Energiya - Energy; means that the club is affiliated with an energy company; the word can
             be used as a part of a name.
Express - the club is sponsored by the transportation company DV Express.
Fakel - Torch; the club acquired this name when it began to represent the Voronezh
          Chemoautomatics Design Bureau which was developing mainly liquid rocket engines.
          The namesake from Yakutsk is to be associated raher with the flame of burning
          gas because it is sponsored by a gas-producing company.
Fakel-StroiArt - another Voronezh club originated from the old Fakel structure sponsored
                   by the construction company StroiArt.
FCS-73 - Futbolny Centr Shmarova (=Shmarov's Football Center); founded by the famous
           Fakel Voronezh and Spartak Moscow player Valeriy Shmarov on the basis of the
           school #73.
Gazovik - Gas Worker; the club is sponsored by the largest Russian gas producing company
            Gazprom.
Gornyak - Miner; the club is affiliated with a mining company.
Irtysh - name of the large Siberian river.
IzhGTU Burevestnik - a joint team of Izhevsk State Technical University (IzhGTU) and
                       Burevestnik Sport School.
Kait-Sport - the club is owned by the major Russian sportswear producer Kait-Sport.
KamAZ - Kamskiy Avtomobilny Zavod (=Kama Car Factory).
Karelia - the name of the republic.
KavkazTransGaz - the club is sponsored by Gazprom Caucasian subsidiary KavkazTransGaz.
Khimik - Chemist; name of the clubs representing chemical manufacturers.
Khopyor - name of the river.
KMV - the acronym used to designate the district in the south of Stavropol Region rich in
        mineral springs, stands for Kavkazskiye Mineralnyye Vody (=Caucasian Mineral
        Waters). 
Korston - the club is sponsored by the Korston hotel chain.
Krylatskoye - the name of one of the Moscow districts that features a huge sport complex.
Krylya Sovetov - Wings of Soviets (was created during the WWII on the basis of aircraft
                   factories evacuated to Samara [then Kuibyshev]).
Kuban - name of one of the biggest Caucasian rivers and unofficial name of Krasnodar
          Territory.
Kuzbass - Kuzneskiy Bassein (=Kuznetsk [Coal] Basin), also the name for the whole mining
            region and unofficial name of Kemerovo Region.
Lada - the trademark of AvtoVAZ, a Russian car manufacturer in Togliatti, and a Slavic
         goddess of youth and beauty.
Leader - the club is sponsored by the Novosibirsk shop equipment manufacturer Leader.
Leki - the name of one of the ancient tribes that gave birth to the modern Lezgins who
         live in southern Dagestan.
Lokomotiv - name for the clubs affiliated with the railroads. As of 2008, there's 4 clubs
              named Lokomotiv. Often nicknamed 'Parovoz' (=Steam Engine).
Luch-Energiya - Beam-Energy; the second part 'Energy' comes from their sponsor Far Eastern
                  Energy Company.
LuTEK - Luchegorskiy Toplivno-Energeticheskiy Kompleks (=Luchegorsk Fuel and Energy
          Complex), the sponsor of the club.
Maccabi - the club represents the Jewish diaspora of Moscow.
Magnit - Magnet; the club comes from the city of Zheleznogorsk (=Iron Mountain) where the
           biggest industry is mining and ore processing.
Mashinostroitel - Machine Builder, the club represents the Kirov Machine Building Plant.
Mashuk-KMV - Mashuk is the name of the mountain near Pyatigorsk; see KMV.
Master-Saturn - the football academy within the Saturn football club.
MCS - Ministerstvo Chrezvychainykh Situatsiy (=Ministry of Emergency Situations).
Metallurg - name for the clubs affiliated with metallurgic plants.
              As of 2008, there's 6 clubs named Metallurg.
Metallurg-Kuzbass - emphasizes that the club originates from Kuzbass which stands for
                      'Kuzneskiy Bassein' (=Kuznetsk [Coal] Basin) and is the name for the
                      whole mining region. 
Meteor-Saturn - the second team of Master-Saturn academy merged with the former FK Meteor.
MiK - name of the sponsor.
Mordovia - the name of the republic.
Mostovik - Bridge Builder; the club is affiliated with a bridge construction company.
MVA - Moskovskaya Veterinarnaya Akademiya (=Moscow Veterinary Academy).
MVD Rossii - Ministry of the Interior of Russia.
Nara-BFSR - Nara is the name of the river; BFSR stands for Brazilian Football School in
              Russia (the club is part of the initiative on opening such schools in Moscow
              Region and Krasnodar Territory).
Neftekhimik - Petrochemist; owned by the petrochemical plant NizhnekamskNefteKhim.
Neftyanik - Oiler. The club is affiliated with an oil producing company.
Nika - Nike, the goddess.
NoSta - Novotroitskaya Stal (=Novotroitsk Steel); represent the metallurgic plant.
Octane - the club is sponsored by the Perm oil product plant Octane Oil.
Oka - name of the river.
Okean - Ocean.
Olimpia - named after Ancient Greek sanctuary Olympia known for staging Olympic Games.
Olimp-Skopa - the club is sponsored by the construction company Skopa.
Ongusht - the name of the Republic of Ingushetia in Ingush language.
Podolye - the name of the region around Podolsk city, means something like 'a slope of a
            hill'.
Polimer - Polymer, the club represents the Barnaul varnish-and-paint equipment plant
            Sibirskiy Polimer.
Portovik - Harbour Worker; the club represents a port or a harbour.
Quant - the club is owned by Obninsk telecommunication company Quant.
Raspadskaya - represents the coal mine Raspadskaya.
Rosich - ancient form of the word 'Russian'.
RossKat - Rossiyskaya Katanka (=Russian Wire Rods), the name of the owner.
Rotor - represented the local turbine plant named Rotor.
Rubin - Ruby (represented Kazan aircraft factory).
Rusichi - one of the names of inhabitants of ancient Rus.
Ryazanskaya GRES - Ryazan State Regional Power Station.
Sakhalin - name of the large Far Eastern Russian island.
Salyut - Fireworks, Salute; the name was given in tribute of the anniversary of the
           victory in Great Patriotic War.
Saturn - represented Ramenskoye instrument making plant.
SDY[S]SOR - Spetsializirovannaya Detsko-Yunosheskaya [Sportivnaya] Shkola Olimpiyskogo
              Rezerva (=Specialized Children and Youth [Sport] School of Olympic
              Reserves), the second type of youth sport schools. Unlike DYSS, SDYSOR is
              more oriented for the professional, 'highest-result' sport.
Senezh - name of the lake.
Serebryanyye Prudy - Silver Ponds. The natural reserve that also gave name to the city.
Sever - North; indeed, this is the northernmost football club in Russia.
Shakhtyor - Miner. The club is affiliated with a mining company.
Sheksna - name of the river.
Shinnik - Tyre Maker (represented Yaroslavl tyre plant).
Sibir - Siberia (Novosibirsk is the biggest city of Siberia).
Sibiryak - the Siberian.
SKA - Sportivny Klub Armii (=Army Sport Club).
Smena - Change, Succession (meaning the young generation to come); usually represented
          various sport schools.
Sochi-2014 - represents the Organizing Committee of Sochi-2014 Olympics.
Sokol - Falcon.
Soyuz-GazProm - the club is owned by two gas companies, SoyuzGazAvtoTrans and GazProm.
Spartak - name of the largest Soviet trade union sport society; derived from both
            the slave leader Spartacus and German revolutionary movement Spartacist
            League. As of 2008, there's 7 clubs named Spartak. Often nicknamed 'Myaso'
            (=Meat) because the old name of the club was 'Pishchevik' (=Food Producers).
Spartak-Auto - name of the sponsor, the large Moscow car-care center.
Spartak-UGP - UGP stands for UrengoyGazProm, Urengoy subsidiary of Gazprom.
SportAcademClub - club affiliated with the Russian State University of Physical Culture,
                    Sport and Tourism.
Strogino - name of one of the Moscow districts.
Stroitel - Builder. The club represents a construction company.
StroiMekhanizatsiya #1 - represents the homonymic company that provides construction sites
                           with the hoisting devices.
StroiPlastmass - Construction Plastics, the club is affiliated with the relevant factory.
SVSM - Shkola Vysshego Sportivnogo Masterstva (=School of Perfect Sport Mastery).
Taxist - the club is sponsored by a taxi car fleet.
Tekstilshchik - Textile Worker; the club formerly represented the textile manufacturers
                  which were numerous in Ivanovo.
Terek - named after one of the biggest Caucasian rivers.
Tex - represents the Ivanteyevka cleaning waste factory.
Tobol - name of the river.
Tom - name of the local river.
Torpedo - common Soviet name for clubs affiliated with automobile/motor factories and
            plants. As of 2008, there's 5 clubs named Torpedo.
Torpedo-RG - the second attempt (the first one was Torpedo-ZIL, now FK Moskva) to revive
               the 'genuine Torpedo' implemented on the basis of former amateur team Smena
               and Torpedo Football School graduates with the sponsorship of Rossiyskaya
               Gazeta (RG) newspaper.
Unit - the club is owned by Unit Group of Companies.
UOR - Uchilishche Olimpiyskogo Rezerva (=Olympic Reserves School); a common name for local
        sport clubs originally created to bring up talented young sportsmen.
Ural - name of the mountain range and the whole region where Yekaterinburg is
         the biggest city.
Varyagi - the Varangians.
Vityaz - Knight, Hero, Champion.
Volga - name of the largest European river. As of 2008, there's 3 clubs named Volga.
Volgar(-GazProm) - Volga bank dweller. The club is sponsored by the largest Russian
                     gas producing company Gazprom.
Volochanin-Ratmir - Volochanin means 'resident of V.Volochok town'; Ratmir is an old
                      Russian male name and the name of the telecommunication company who
                      owned an amateur team that has finally merged with Volochanin.
Vostok-EZTM - East. The club is sponsored by EZTM - Elektrostalskiy Zavod Tyazhologo
                Mashinostryeniya (=Elektrostal Heavy Machine Plant).
Vybor - Choice. Represents the real-estate agency Vybor.
Vympel - Pennon.
Wilsi - represents the Kaluga rolled metal producing plant Wilsi.
Yantar - Amber.
Yurma - the club is sponsored by the agricultural holding Yurma.
Zarya - Dawn, Sunrise.
Zenit(h) - name of the sport society that included clubs representing the defence
             enterprises/plants. As of 2008, there's 4 clubs named Zenit. Often nicknamed
             'Meshki' (=Bags).
Zhemchuzhina - Pearl; the club was named after its first founder, Zhemchuzhina Hotel.
Znamya Truda - Flag of Labour; the oldest Russian football club (founded in 1909).
Zodiac - name given after the founding shareholder, construction company Zodiac.
Zorkiy - Vigilant. A once popular pre-revolutionary, then communist name for various
           objects, e.g. combat ships, photo cameras, and even horses.
Zvezda - Star. Another name for army clubs (along with SKA). As of 2008, there's 4 clubs
           named Zvezda.
           


About this document

Prepared and maintained by Mike Dryomin for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Mike Dryomin (mikad@online.ru)
Last updated: 11 Jul 2008

(C) Copyright Mike Dryomin and RSSSF 2008
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.