It is not semantics, it is a contradictory fact. The former Soviet Union is not now called Russia. The portion of the former USSR that is and was Russia is now Russia. Other countries that were during that period the other Soviet Socialist Republics have become independent countries or regained their independence. There was a brief period in Olympic terms (when Petrenko won in 1992) when there was a Unified Team - again not Russia - including athletes from former USSR components. When Petrenko won bronze in 1988 it was still USSR, not Russia. As a person of (partial) Russian ancestry, I know that these distinctions, as well as being real, are very important to people from other parts of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union. They are different peoples, and now different countries.