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The Russian MafiaPrivate Protection in a New Market Economy$
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Federico Varese

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019829736X.001.0001

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The Russian Mafia

The Russian Mafia

(p.167) 8 The Russian Mafia
The Russian Mafia

Federico Varese (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

An assessment is made of the role of the vory-v-zakone (thieves-with-a-code-of-honour – the criminal fraternity that flourished in the Soviet labour camps between the 1920s and the 1950s, and re-emerged in the 1970s) in the post-Soviet criminal world. The features of the new society are described (the existence of territorial groups of vory, and their organizational structure, activities, inter-group relations, and role) and the Russian Mafia is identified as groups that share vory rituals and norms of interaction and are federated with one another. The future of the Russian Mafia is then briefly evaluated amidst the emergence of two powerful competitor groups who do not share the rituals and traditions of the vory: the Chechen Mafia and the Cossacks. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the connections between politics, the church, terrorism, and the modern criminal fraternity.

Keywords:   activities, Chechen Mafia, church, competitor groups, Cossacks, criminal fraternity, inter-group relations, organization, politics, Russian Mafia, territorial groups, terrorism, thieves-with-a-code-of-honour, vory-v-zakone

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