The Russian ice hockey federation has appointed Zinetula Bilyaletdinov as head coach of the national team after Vyacheslav Bykov was fired last month because of disappointing results.

The federation said Monday on its website that Bilyaletdinov, a former Olympic champion as a defenceman for the Soviet team in the 1970s and 80s, had accepted an offer through to the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian southern coastal resort of Sochi and would sign a contract soon.

The 56-year-old Bilyaletdinov is currently the coach of Kazan-based team Ak Bars in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Bykov was ousted in May after Russia finished without a medal at the world championships for the first time in five years.