Russian Mafia

The Russian mafia (Russian: русская мафия, russkaya mafiya) is a term used to refer to the collective of various organized crime syndicates originating in the former Soviet Union. Although not a singular criminal organization, most of the individual groups, known as Bratva ("brotherhood") or Vorovskoy mir ("thief in law, world"), share similar goals and organizational structures that define them as part of the loose overall association.

Organized crime in Russia began in its imperial period of Tsars, but it wasn't until the Soviet era that vory v zakone ("thieves-in-law") emerged as leaders of prison groups in gulags (Soviet prison labor camps), and the Thieves' Code became more defined. After World War II, the death of Joseph Stalin, and the fall of the Soviet Union, more gangs emerged in a flourishing black market, exploiting the unstable governments of the former Republics, and at its highest point, even controlling as much as two-thirds of the Russian economy. Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, had once said the Russian Mafia posed the greatest threat to US national security in the mid-1990s.

In modern times, there are as many as 6,000 different groups, with over 200 of them having a global reach. Criminals of these various groups are either former prison members, corrupt Communist officials and business leaders, people with ethnic ties, or people from the same region with shared criminal experiences and leaders. However, the existence of such groups has been debatable. In December 2009, Timur Lakhonin, the head of the Russian National Central Bureau of Interpol, stated, "Certainly, there is crime involving our former compatriots abroad, but there is no data suggesting that an organized structure of criminal groups comprising former Russians exists abroad", while in August 2010, Alain Bauer, a French criminologist, said that it "is one of the best structured criminal organisations in Europe, with a quasi-military operation."

Read more about Russian MafiaStructure and Composition, Notable Individual Groups, In Popular Culture

Other articles related to "russian, mafia, russian mafia":

Potato Bag Gang - History - 1992–2000: Growth and Internationalization
... people in Russia and also to take control of Russian organized crime in North America ... and prostitution and made ties with the American Mafia and Colombian drug cartels, eventually extending to Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston ... in June 1995 when a $3.5 million extortion attempt from two Russian businessmen, Alexander Volkov and Vladimir Voloshin, ended in an FBI arrest that ...
Morjim - Russian Expatriates
... Congress Party MP Shantaram Naik has condemned the Russian presence, objecting specifically to rudeness, nudity, and crime including assaults and running ... Indian security agencies have become concerned with the Russian Mafia involvement in drug trade, prostitution, and land ownership in the formerly quiet ... planning minister Babush Monserrate of ties to the Russian mafia ...
Russian Mafia - In Popular Culture
... The 1994 film Little Odessa, the Russian Mafia of Brighton Beach, New York is the subject ... In the FX television show Sons of Anarchy the Russian Mafia is an ally to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club ... Grand Theft Auto IV the main protagonist is at first allied with and later on against a Russian Mafia gang ...
List Of Jiraishin Characters - Characters - Allies
... Krab/Klauf A Russian man who came to Kunashi Island with his sister, Nina ... He served as the bodyguard to the three dissident Russian nuclear scientists ... he drove a boat full of gunpowder into a Russian Mafia ship, which was possibly a decommissioned cruiser ...

Famous quotes containing the word russian:

    “I suppose with the French Revolution for a father and the Russian Revolution for a mother, you can very well dispense with a family,” he observed.
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919)