This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
|Founding location||Russia and the former Soviet Union|
|Years active||Late 1980s–present|
|Territory||Active mostly in parts of Europe (specifically Russia and other Post-Soviet States), The United States (Mostly Miami, Florida and New York City in particular, Brighton Beach), Canada, Italy, India, Israel, Spain, France, Australia (Gold Coast, Queensland & Sydney), Hungary, Czech Republic and more.|
|Ethnicity||All former Soviet ethnicities: Russians, Jews, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Armenians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz etc.|
|Membership (est.)||3 million in Russia, 300,000 in 50+ countries|
|Criminal activities||Human trafficking, racketeering, drug trafficking, extortion, murder, robbery, smuggling, arms trafficking, gambling, fencing, prostitution, pornography, money laundering, fraud and financial crimes.|
Russian organized crime or Russian mafia (Russian: росси́йская ма́фия, tr. rossíyskaya máfiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə ˈmafʲɪjə], Russian: ру́сская ма́фия, tr. rússkaya máfiya, IPA: [ˈruskəjə ˈmafʲɪjə]), otherwise known as Bratva (Russian: братва́, tr. bratvá, IPA: [brɐtˈva], lit. 'brotherhood'), is a collective of various organized crime elements originating in the former Soviet Union. The acronym OPG is Organized Criminal (Prestupnaya in Russian) Group, used to refer to any of the Russian mafia groups, sometimes modified with a specific name, e.g. Orekhovskaya OPG. Sometimes the initialism is translated and OCG is used.
Organized crime in Russia began in the Russian Empires, but it was not until the Soviet era that vory v zakone ("thieves-in-law") emerged as leaders of prison groups in forced labor camps, and their honor code became more defined. With the end of 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. Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, said that the Russian mafia posed the greatest threat to U.S. national security in the mid-1990s.
In 2012, there were as many as 6,000 groups, with more than 200 of them having a global reach. Criminals of these various groups are either former prison members, corrupt officials and business leaders, people with ethnic ties, or people from the same region with shared criminal experiences and leaders.[clarification needed] 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 organizations in Europe, with a quasi-military operation."
The Russian mafia is similar to the Italian Mafia in many ways, the groups' organization and structure follow a similar model. The two groups also share a similar portfolio of criminal activity. The highly-publicized Italian Mafia is believed to have inspired early criminal groups in Russia to form Mafia-like organizations, eventually spawning their own version. The Russian mafia however differed from the Italians due to their environment. The level of political corruption and arms sales in a post-Soviet Russia allowed for massive expansion and incorporation of many government officials into the crime syndicates. The Russians also dabbled in uranium trading stolen from the Soviet nuclear program and human trafficking.
The Russian criminality can be traced back to Russia's imperial period, which began in the 1720s, in the form of banditry and thievery. Most of the population were peasants, in poverty at the time, and criminals who stole from government entities and divided profits among the people earned Robin Hood-like status, being viewed as protectors of the poor and becoming folk heroes. In time, the Vorovskoy Mir (Thieves' World) emerged as these criminals grouped and started their own code of conduct that was based on strict loyalty with one another and opposition against the government. When the Bolshevik Revolution came around in 1917, the Thieves' World was alive and active. Vladimir Lenin attempted to wipe them out, but failed, and the criminals survived into Joseph Stalin's reign.
1917–1991: Soviet era
During Stalin's reign as ruler, millions of people were sent to gulags (Soviet labor camps), where powerful criminals worked their way up to become vorami v zakone ("thieves-in-law"). These criminal elite often conveyed their status through complicated tattoos, symbols still used by Russian mobsters.
After Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, Stalin was recruiting more men to fight for the nation, offering prisoners freedom if they joined the army. Many flocked to help out in the war, but this act betrayed codes of the Thieves' World that one must not ally with the government. Those who chose not to fight in the war referred to the traitors as suka ("bitch"), and the traitors landed at the bottom of the "hierarchy". Outcast, the suki separated from the others and formed their own groups and power bases by collaborating with prison officials, eventually gaining the luxury of comfortable positions. Bitterness between the groups erupted into a series of Bitch Wars from 1945 to 1953 with many killed every day. The prison officials encouraged the violence, seeing it as a way to rid the prisons of criminals.
Also during the 1970s and 1980s, the United States expanded its immigration policies, allowing Soviet Jews, with most settling in a southern Brooklyn area known as Brighton Beach (sometimes nicknamed as "Little Odessa"). Here is where Russian organized crime began in the US. The earliest known case of Russian crime in the area was in the mid-1970s by the "Potato Bag Gang," a group of con artists disguised as merchants that told customers that they were selling antique gold rubles for cheap, but in fact, gave them bags of potatoes when bought in thousands. By 1983, the head of Russian organized crime in Brighton Beach was Evsei Agron.
Pauol Mirzoyan was a prime target among other mobsters including rival Boris Goldberg and his organization, and in May 1985 Agron was assassinated. Boris "Biba" Nayfeld, his bodyguard, moved on to employ under Marat Balagula, who was believed to have succeeded Agron's authority. In the following year, Balagula fled the country after he was convicted in a fraud scheme of Merrill Lynch customers, and was found in Frankfurt, West Germany in 1989, where he was extradited back to the US and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Balagula would later be convicted on a separate $360,000 credit card fraud in 1992. Nayfield took Balagula's place, partnering with the "Polish Al Capone", Ricardo Fanchiniin, in an import-export business and setting up a heroin business. In 1990, his former friend, Monya Elson, back from a six-year prison sentence in Israel, returned to America and set up a rival heroin business, culminating in a mafia turf war.
1992–2000: Growth and internationalization
When the USSR collapsed and a free market economy emerged, organized criminal groups began to take over Russia's economy, with many ex-KGB agents and veterans of the Afghan war offering their skills to the crime bosses. Gangster summit meetings had taken place in hotels and restaurants shortly before the Soviet's dissolution, so that top vory v zakone could agree on who would rule what, and set plans on how to take over the post-Communist states. It was agreed that Vyacheslav "Yaponchik" Ivankov would be sent to Brighton Beach in 1992, allegedly because he was killing too many people in Russia and also to take control of Russian organized crime in North America. Within a year, he built an international operation that included, but was not limited to, narcotics, money laundering, and prostitution and made ties with the American Mafia and Colombian drug cartels, eventually extending to Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston. Those who went against him were usually killed.
Prior to Ivankov's arrival, Balagula's downfall left a void for America's next vory v zakone. Monya Elson, leader of Monya's Brigada (a gang that similarly operated from Russia to Los Angeles to New York), was in a feud with Boris Nayfeld, with bodies dropping on both sides. Ivankov's arrival virtually ended the feud, although Elson would later challenge his power as well, and a number of attempts were made to end the former's life. Nayfield and Elson would eventually be arrested in January 1994 (released in 1998) and in Italy in 1995, respectively.
According to FBI reports, the crime boss Semion Mogilevich had alliances with the Camorra, in particular with Salvatore DeFalco, a lower-echelon member of the Giuliano clan. Mogilevich and DeFalco would have held meetings in Prague in 1993.
Ivankov's reign also ended in June 1995 when a $3.5 million extortion attempt on two Russian businessmen, Alexander Volkov and Vladimir Voloshin, ended in an FBI arrest that resulted in a ten-year maximum security prison sentence. Before his arrest and besides his operations in America, Ivankov regularly flew around Europe and Asia to maintain ties with his fellow mobsters (like members of the Solntsevskaya Bratva), as well as reinforce ties with others. This did not stop other people from denying him growing power. In one instance, Ivankov attempted to buy out Georgian boss Valeri "Globus" Glugech's drug importation business. When the latter refused the offer, he and his top associates were shot dead. A summit held in May 1994 in Vienna rewarded him with what was left of Glugech's business. Two months later, Ivankov got into another altercation with drug kingpin and head of the Orekhovskaya gang, Segei "Sylvester" Timofeyev, ending with the latter murdered a month later.
In 1995, the Camorra cooperated with the Russian Mafia in a scheme in which the Camorra would bleach out US$1 bills and reprint them as $100s. These bills would then be transported to the Russian Mafia for distribution in 29 post-Eastern Bloc countries and former Soviet republics. In return, the Russian Mafia paid the Camorra with property (including a Russian bank) and firearms, smuggled into Eastern Europe and Italy.
A report by the United Nations in 1995 placed the number of individuals involved in organized crime in Russia at 3 million, employed in about 5,700 gangs. 
Back in Eastern Europe in May 1995, Semion Mogilevich held a summit meeting of Russian mafia bosses in his U Holubu restaurant in Anděl, a neighborhood of Prague. The excuse to bring them together was that it was a birthday party for Victor Averin, the second-in-command of the Solntsevskaya Bratva. However, Major Tomas Machacek of the Czech police got wind of an anonymous tip-off that claimed that the Solntsevskaya were planning to assassinate Mogilevich at the location (it was rumored that Mogilevich and Solntsevskaya leader Sergei Mikhailov had a dispute over $5 million), and the police successfully raided the meeting. 200 guests were arrested, but no charges were put against them; only key Russian mafia members were banned from the country, most of whom moved to Hungary.
One person who was not there was Mogilevich himself. He claimed that "[b]y the time I arrived at U Holubu, everything was already in full swing, so I went into a neighboring hotel and sat in the bar there until about five or six in the morning." Mikhailov would later be arrested in Switzerland in October 1996 on numerous charges, including that he was the head of a powerful Russian mafia group, but was exonerated and released two years later after evidence was not enough to prove much.
The global extent of Russian organized crime wasn't realized until Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg was arrested in January 1997, primarily because of arms dealing. In 1990, Fainberg moved from Brighton Beach to Miami and opened up a strip club called Porky's, which soon became a popular hangout for underworld criminals. Fainberg himself gained a reputation as an ambassador among international crime groups, becoming especially close to Juan Almeida, a Colombian cocaine dealer. Planning to expand his cocaine business, Fainberg acted as an intermediary between Almeida and the corrupt Russian military. He helped him get six Russian military helicopters in 1993, and in the following year, helped arrange to buy a submarine for cocaine smuggling. Unfortunately for the two of them, federal agents had been keeping a close eye on Fainberg for months. Alexander Yasevich, an associate of the Russian military contact and an undercover DEA agent, was sent to verify the illegal dealing, and in 1997, Fainberg was finally arrested in Miami. Facing the possibility of life imprisonment, the latter agreed to testify against Almeida in exchange for a shorter sentence, which ended up being 33 months.
As the 21st century dawned, the Russian mafia remained after the death of Aslan Usoyan. New Mafia bosses sprang up, while imprisoned ones were released. Among the released were Marat Balagula and Vyacheslav Ivankov, both in 2004. The latter was extradited to Russia, but was jailed once more for his alleged murders of two Turks in a Moscow restaurant in 1992; he was cleared of all charges and released in 2005. Four years later, he was assassinated by a shot in the stomach from a sniper. Meanwhile, Monya Elson and Leonid Roytman were arrested in March 2006 for an unsuccessful murder plot against two Kyiv-based businessmen.
In 2009, FBI agents in Moscow targeted[clarification needed] two suspected Mafia leaders and two other corrupt businessmen. One of the leaders is Yevgeny Dvoskin, a criminal who had been in prison with Ivankov in 1995 and was deported in 2001 for breaking immigration regulations; the other is Konstantin "Gizya" Ginzburg, who was reportedly the current "big boss" of Russian organized crime in America before his reported assassination in 2009, it being suspected that Ivankov handed over control to him.
In the same year, Semion Mogilevich was placed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for his involvement in a complex multimillion-dollar scheme that defrauded investors in the stock of his company YBM Magnex International, swindling them out of $150 million. He was indicted in 2003 and arrested in 2008 in Russia on tax fraud charges, but because the US does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, he was released on bail. Monya Elson said, in 1998, that Mogilevich is the most powerful mobster in the world.
Around the world, Russian mafia groups have popped up as dominating particular areas. Russian organized crime has a rather large stronghold in the city of Atlanta where members are distinguished by their tattoos. Russian organized crime was reported to have a stronger grip in the French Riviera region and Spain in 2010; and Russia was branded as a virtual "mafia state" according to the WikiLeaks cables.
In 2009, Russian mafia groups had been said to reach over 50 countries and, in 2010, had up to 300,000 members. According to recordings released in 2015, Alexander Litvinenko, shortly before he was assassinated, claimed that Semion Mogilevich has had a "good relationship" with Vladimir Putin since the 1990s.
On 7 June 2017, 33 Russian mafia affiliates and members were arrested and charged by the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and NYPD for extortion, racketeering, illegal gambling, firearm offenses, narcotics trafficking, wire fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices; based in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, murder-for-hire conspiracy and cigarette trafficking. They were also accused of operating secret and underground gambling dens based in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and using violence to those who owed gambling debts, establishing nightclubs to sell drugs, plotting to force women associates to rob male strangers by seducing and drugging them with chloroform, and trafficking over 10,000 pounds of stolen chocolate confectionery; the chocolate was stolen from shipment containers. It is believed that 27 of the arrested are connected to the Russian mafia Shulaya clan which are largely based in New York. According to the prosecution, the Shulaya also has operations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Nevada. According to law enforcement and the prosecution, this is one of the first federal arrests against a Russian mafia boss and his underboss or co-leader.
On 26 September 2017, as part of a 4-year investigation, 100 Spanish Civil Guard officers carried out 18 searches in different areas of Malaga, Spain related to Russian mafia large scale money laundering. The raids resulted in the arrests of 11 members and associates of the Solntsevskaya and Izmailovskaya clans. Money, firearms and 23 high-end vehicles were also seized. The owner of Marbella FC, Alexander Grinberg, and manager of AFK Sistema, a Spanish football club in Malaga, were among those arrested.
On 19 February 2018, 18 defendants were accused of laundering over $62 million through real estate, including with the help of Vladislav Reznik, former chairman of Rosgosstrakh, one of Russia's largest insurance companies. The accused stood trial in Spain. The Tambov and Malyshev Russian mafia organisations were involved.
Structure and composition
This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
|"They're not carefully structured Cosa Nostra–type families... They're loose structures of networks, but they draw on people from a number of different areas."|
|— James Finckenauer, author of Russian Mafia In America|
Note that these positions are not always official titles, but rather are understood names for roles that an individual performs.
- Pakhan – also called Boss, Krestniy Otets ("Capo di tutti capi | Godfather"), Vor (вор, "Thief"), Papa, or Avtoritet ("Authority"), controls everything. The Pakhan controls four criminal cells in the working unit through an intermediary called a "Brigadier."
- Two Spies – watch over the action of the brigadiers to ensure loyalty and that none becomes too powerful. They are the Sovietnik ("Support Group") and Obshchak ("Security Group").
- Derzhatel obshchaka, the bookkeeper, collects money from Brigadiers and bribes the government with Obshchak (money mafia intended for use in the interests of the group). This could be Brigadier, Pakhan, Authoritet.
- Brigadier – also called Avtoritet ("Authority"), is like a captain in charge of a small group of men, similar to a Caporegime in Italian-American Mafia crime families and Sicilian Mafia clans. He gives out jobs to Boyeviks ("warriors") and pays tribute to Pakhan. He runs a crew which is called a Brigade. A Brigade is made up of 5–6 Patsanov or Brodyag.
- Bratok – also called Patsan, or Brodyaga works for a Brigadier having a special criminal activity to run, similar to soldiers in Italian-American Mafia crime families and Sicilian Mafia clans. A Boyevik is in charge of recruiting new soldiers and associates, and paying tribute up to his Brigadier. Boyeviks also make up the main strike force of a brigade.
- Shestyorka – is an "associate" to the organization also called the "six", similar to associates in Italian-American Mafia crime families and Sicilian Mafia clans. He is an errand boy for the organization and is the lowest rank in the Russian Mafia. The sixes are assigned to some Avtorityets for support. They also provide intelligence for the upcoming "delo" or on a certain target. They usually stay out of the main actions, although there might be exceptions, depending on circumstances. During a "delo" Shestyorkas perform security functions standing on the look out (Shukher – literally: danger). It is a temporary position and an individual either makes it into the Vor-world or is cast aside. As they are earning their respect and trust in Bratva they may be performing roles of the regular Boyeviks or Byki depending on the necessities and patronage of their Brigadier or Avtorityet. The etymology of the word 'shestyorka' comes from the lowest rank of a 36-playing-card deck – sixes.
In the Russian Mafia, "Vor" (plural: Vory) (literally, "Thief") is an honorary title analogous to a made man in the Italian-American and Sicilian mafia. The honor of becoming a Vor is given only when the recruit shows considerable leadership skills, personal ability, intellect and charisma. A Pakhan or another high-ranking member of an organization can decide if the recruit will receive such title. When you become a member of the Vor-world you have to accept the code of the Vor v Zakone ("Thief in law").
Although Russian criminal groups vary in their structure, there have been attempts to devise a model of how they work. One such model (possibly outdated by now, as it is based on the old style of Soviet criminal enterprises) works out like this:
- Elite group – led by a Pakhan who is involved in management, organization and ideology. This is the highest group that controls both support group and security group.
- Security group – is led by one of his spies. His job is to make sure the organization keeps running and also keeps the peace between the organizations and other criminal groups and also paying off the right people. This group works with the Elite group and is equal in power with the Support groups. Is in charge of security and in intelligence.
- Support group – is led by one of his spies. His job is to watch over the working unit collecting the money while supervising their criminal activities. This group works with the elite group and is equal in power with the Security group. They plan a specific crime for a specialized group or choose who carries out the operation.
- Working Unit – There are four Brigadiers running criminal activity in the working unit, each controlling a Brigade. This is the lowest group working with only the Support group. The group is involved in burglars, thieves, prostitution, extortion, street gangs, and other crimes.
Notable individual groups
Groups based in and around the City of Moscow:
- Solntsevskaya Bratva: Led by Sergei "Mikhas" Mikhailov, it is Russia's largest criminal group with about 5,000 members, and is named after the Solntsevo District.
- Lyuberetskaya Bratva (Russian: Люберецкая Братва) or Lyubery (Russian: Люберы): One of the largest criminal groups in late 1980s – early-mid-1990s in the USSR. Based in (and originating from) Lyubertsy district of Moscow.
- The Izmaylovskaya gang: One of Russia's oldest modern gangs, it was started in the mid- to late-1980s by Oleg Ivanov; it has around 200–500 members in Moscow alone, and is named after the Izmaylovo District. Izmailovskaya has good relations with the Podolskaya gang. Anton Malevsky was the leader until his death in 2001. The Ismailovskaya mafia is closely associated with Oleg Deripaska, Andrei Bokarev, Michael Cherney, and Iskander Makhmudov through their Switzerland based "Blonde Investment Company" and is closely associated with Vladimir Putin's SPAG. Liechtenstein police proved that Rudolf Ritter was the financial manager for the accounts of both Putin's SPAG and the Ismailovskaya mafia and that Alexander Afanasyev ("Afonya") was connected to both SPAG and the Ismailovskaya mafia through his Panama registered Earl Holding AG. Also, Rudolf Ritter signed for Earl Holding, Berger International Holding, Repas Trading SA and Fox Consulting. The Colombia-based Cali KGB Cartel supplied cocaine to the Ismailovskaya mafia, too.
- The Orekhovskaya gang: Founded by Sergei "Sylvester" Timofeyev, this group reached its height in Moscow in the 1990s. When Timofeyev died, Sergei Butorin took his place. However, he was sentenced to jail for life in 2011.
- The Podolskaya gang: one of the richest with its common fund kept in the United States. Located in the Podolsky, Chekhovsky, and Serpukhovsky districts of the Moscow region and beyond including close relations with mafia in the United States and Belgium. Their focus is oil and extortion. They provided support to Anatoly Bykov.
Groups based in other parts of Russia and the former Soviet Union:
- The Dolgoprudnenskaya gang: Russia's second largest criminal group. Originally from the City of Dolgoprudny.
- The Tambov Gang of Saint Petersburg is very closely aligned with Nikolai Aulov, who is the head of the Federal Drug Control Service; Alexander Bastrykin, who is the head of the Investigative Committee; Japanese Yakuza from Kobe and Osaka; and with the political rise of Vladimir Putin. Putin's long time personal body guard, Viktor Zolotov is very close to this group as well. the man most associated with them is Vladimir Kumarin.
- The Uzbek criminals in Litvinenko's Uzbek file, including Michael Cherney, Gafur Rakhimov, Vyacheslav Ivankov, and Salim Abduvaliev (also spelled Salim Abdulaev); are Uzbek origin KGB and later FSB officers at Moscow including Colonel Evgeny Khokholkov; were organized by Vladimir Putin while Putin was Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs of St Petersburg in the early 1990s; and control Afghanistan origin drug trade through St Petersburg, Russia, and then to Europe. Boris Berezovsky told Litvinenko to brief his Uzbek file about corrupt FSB officers to the future Head of the FSB Putin which Litvinenko did on 25 July 1998 and, later, Litvinenko was imprisoned. Robert Eringer, head of Monaco's Security Service, confirmed Litvinenko's file about Vladimir Putin as a kingpin in Europe's narcotics trade. The Colombia-based Cali KGB Cartel supplied cocaine to this network, too.
- The Slonovskaya gang was one of the strongest criminal groups in CIS in the 1990s. It was based in Ryazan. It had a long-term war with other criminal groups of the city (Ayrapetovskaya, Kochetkovskie, etc.)
- The Uralmash gang of Yekaterinburg.
- The Chechen mafia is one of the largest ethnic organized crime groups operating in the former Soviet Union next to established Russian mafia groups.
- The Georgian mafia is regarded as one of the biggest, powerful and influential criminal networks in Europe, which has produced the biggest number of "thieves in law" in all former USSR countries.
- The Mkhedrioni was a paramilitary group involved in organised crime led by a Thief in law Jaba Ioseliani in Georgia in the 1990s.
- The city of Kazan was known for its gang culture, which later progressed into more organised, mafia-esque groups. This was known as the Kazan phenomenon.
Groups based in and around The United States of America:
- The Odessa Mafia: The most prominent and dominant Russian criminal group operating in the US; its headquarters is in Brighton Beach.
- Armenian Power, or AP-13, is a California-based crime syndicate tied to Russian and Armenian organised crime.
Groups based in other areas:
- The Brothers' Circle: Headed by Temuri Mirzoyev, this multi-ethnic transnational group is "composed of leaders and senior members of several Eurasian criminal groups largely based in countries of the former Soviet Union but operating in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America." In 2011, US President Barack Obama and his administration named it one of four transnational organized crime groups that posed the greatest threat to US national security, and sanctioned certain key members and froze their assets. A year later, he extended the national emergency against them for another year.
- The Semion Mogilevich organization: Based in Budapest, Hungary and headed by the crime boss of the same name, this group numbered approximately 250 members as of 1996. Its business is often connected with that of the Solntsevskaya Bratva and the Vyacheslav Ivankov Organization. Aleksey Anatolyevich Lugovkov is the second-in-command, and Vitaly Borisovich Savalovsky is the "underboss" to Mogilevich.
- The 'Russian Mafia' as an organized crime group started in the late 1980s, as we can see in the creation of the most powerful gangs from the country such as the Solntsevskaya Bratva, Tambovskaya Bratva, Orekhovskaya gang and Uralmash gang
- "В Испании ликвидирована "российская мафия"" (in Russian). Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "The rise and rise of the Russian mafia". BBC News. 21 November 1998. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Russian Organized Crime". fas.org. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Mallory, Stephen L. Understanding Organized Crime. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2007, p. 73-87.
- "Russian mafia abroad is a myth – head of Russian Interpol bureau". Interfax.com.ua. 23 December 2009. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Russian mafia taking over French Riviera". The Telegraph. 31 August 2010. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- CYRILLE FIJNAUT, ORGANIZED CRIME: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND WESTERN EUROPE, The British Journal of Criminology, Volume 30, Issue 3, Summer 1990, Pages 321–340, https://doi-org.srv-proxy2.library.tamu.edu/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjc.a048024
- Molly Thompson (Writer/Producer) (2001). Russian Mafia: Organized Crime (TV). United States: The History Channel. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Russian Mafia's Worldwide Grip". CBS News. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Ralph Blumenthal, Celestine Bohlen (4 June 1989). "Soviet Emigre Mob Outgrows Brooklyn, and Fear Spreads". New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Gordon, Mark. "Ideas Shoot Bullets: How the RICO Act Became a Potent Weapon in the War Against Organized Crime". Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Raab, Selwyn (23 August 1994). "Influx of Russian Gangsters Troubles F.B.I. in Brooklyn". Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Summers, Chris (19 February 2009). "Time catches up with global gangster". Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Jerry Capeci, Gene Mustain (22 April 1997). "2 Dance Bullet Ballet". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT COURT OF DELAWARE" (PDF). 31 May 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Smillie, Ian, Lansana Gberie, Ralph Hazleton The Heart of the Matter: Sierra Leone, Diamonds and Human Security. Diane Pub, 2000, p. 44-45.
- Claffey, Mike (24 August 1996). "RUSSIAN IN MOB RAP". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (1996). SEMION MOGILEVICH ORGANIZATION EURASIAN ORGANIZED CRIME (1996).
- C. Williams, Robert (2019). Useful Assets. Dorrance Publishing Co. Inc. p. 25.
- Friedman, Robert I. Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America. Warner Books, 2000.
- Richards, James R. (1998). Transnational Criminal Organizations, Cybercrime, and Money Laundering. CRC Press. p. 7. ISBN 9781420048728.
- Shvarts, Alexander (2002). "Russian Mafia: The Explanatory Power of Rational Choice Theory" (PDF). University of Toronto. p. 26.
- "Czech police arrest internationally wanted mafia boss". Prague Daily Monitor. 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on 13 March 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Glenny, Misha McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld. House of Anansi Press, 2008.
- "Transcript – Panorama "The Billion Dollar Don"". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Bohlen, Celestine (10 January 1999). "The World; To Sicilians, Russia Has No Mafia. It's Too Wild". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Paddock, Richard C. (13 December 1998). "Russian Calls Swiss Verdict a Win for Fellow Businessmen". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "БРАТВАубийственная война "славян" с "лаврушниками" и "зверями". Наиболее полная база данных в Интернете о становлении организованной преступности в России за период с середины 80-х до 1997 года (по справкам РУОП, ФСНП и прочих "силовых" ведомств и спецслужб)" [BROTHER The murderous war of the "Slavs" with the "Lavrushniki" and "Beasts". The most complete database on the Internet on the formation of organized crime in Russia for the period from the mid-80s to 1997 (according to the RUOP, FSNP and other "power" departments and special services)]. Журналистское агентство Free Lance Bureau (FLB) (flb.ru) (in Russian). 18 August 2000. Archived from the original on 18 August 2001. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- Behar, Richard (12 June 2000). "Capitalism in a cold climate". Fortune (in Russian). Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
The story of Trans World's aluminum empire is filled with bribes, shell companies, profiteers, and more than a few corpses. Then again, in today's Russia, that's pretty much par for the course.Archived as Капитализм в холодном климате in Russian at compromat.ru on 21 June 2000.
- "Russian mobster to be released". 24 September 2004. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Top Russian mobster Ivankov dies". The Sidney Morning Herald. 10 October 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "TWO RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME FIGURES CHARGED IN PLOT TO MURDER BUSINESSMEN". United States Attorney's Office. 24 March 2006. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "FBI agents in Moscow on trail of Russian mafia bosses". EN.RIAN.ru. 23 April 2009. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Schwirtz, Michael (30 July 2008). "In a River Raid, a Glimpse of Russia's Criminal Elite". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Top Ten Fugitives: Global Con Artist and Ruthless Criminal". FBI. 21 October 2009. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Meserve, Jeanne (21 October 2009). "FBI: Mobster more powerful than Gotti". CNN. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Friedman, Robert I. (26 May 1998). "The Most Dangerous Mobster in the World". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Wikileaks: Russia branded 'mafia state' in cables". BBC News. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Time, Big. "Russian Mafia and their history". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- Listen: Alexander Litvinenko's apparent warning before his death Archived 19 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine By Lyndsey Telford, Edward Malnick and Claire Newell. 23 January 2015
- "More Than 30 Alleged Russian Mobsters Indicted in Odd Case Involving 10,000 Pounds of Chocolate". Joe Valiquette. NBC News. 7 June 2017. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Busted Russian casino hackers had an appetite for drugs and chocolate". The Register. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Russian mobsters arrested for peddling stolen chocolate". The New York Post. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Members And Associates Of Russian Crime Syndicate Arrested For Racketeering, Extortion, Robbery, Murder-For-Hire Conspiracy, Fraud, Narcotics, And Firearms Offenses". The United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "TWO MAIN RUSSIAN MAFIA GROUPS DISMANTLED IN SPAIN WITH EUROPOL'S SUPPORT". Europol. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Police arrest 11 Russians in Marbella for money laundering". The Local Spain. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Spain Demands Prison Terms for 18 Gangsters linked to Russian Mafia". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 28 January 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "BBC: Major Russian mafia trial opens in Spain". UNIAN. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
- "What's the Truth About the NRA's Man in Moscow?". Archived from the original on 7 December 2018.
- "Russian Politician Who Reportedly Sent Millions to NRA… — ProPublica". Archived from the original on 7 December 2018.
- Russian Organized Crime: Organization and Structure Archived 13 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine 1993
- James O. Finckenauer and Elin Waring. "Challenging the Russian Mafia Mystique" Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. National Institute of Justice Journal. April 2001.
- Stephen L. Mallory. Understanding Organized Crime. 2007. pp. 76–78.
- Bleifuss, Joel (7 September 2007). "Business as Usual: The Rise of the Russian Mafia". FocusFeatures.com. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Bleifuss, Joel (1 April 1998). "So who are the Russian mafia ?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "The Russian Mafia – Part Three". UnreportedCases.com. 11 March 2011. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Подольская ОПГ: Славянские оргпреступные группировки в Московской области. "FreeLance Bureau" (FLB) (18 November 2000). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Показания Хайдарова: Измайловская преступная группировка, Махмудов, Черный, Малевский, Козицын, Бокарев. (Khaidarov's testimony: Izmailovskaya criminal group, Makhmudov, Cherny, Malevsky, Kozitsyn, Bokarev.) Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (1 October 2015). "Мафия на госзаказе - 2. Что связывает Кремль с измайловской группировкой" [Mafia on state order - 2. What connects the Kremlin with the Izmailovo group]. The Insider. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- "Расследование. Колумбийский кокаин в «общаке» Путина" [Investigation. Colombian cocaine in Putin's common fund]. CRiME (crime-ua.com) (in Russian). 2 November 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
- "Leader of Orekhovskaya gang sentenced to life in jail". ITAR-TASS. 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Russian crime gang leader gets life in jail". Kyiv Post. 7 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Артемов, Денис (28 October 2010). Подольская ОПГ. mzk1.ru website. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Криминальное чтиво: В Подольске не считаются с авторитетами, а сводят с ними счеты. Kommersant (4 November 1995). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Подольская ОПГ: Славянские оргпреступные группировки в Московской области. "FreeLance Bureau" (FLB) (18 November 2000). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Новая власть. Kommersant (31 August 1999). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Неуловимый мясникПодмосковные бандиты оставили горы трупов и награбили миллионы долларов (17 February 2018). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
- Иванидзе, Владимир (Ivanidze, Vladimir) (8 February 2012). "Кому Нева дала шанс: Игорный бизнес в Санкт-Петербурге начинали российские ОПГ и японские якудза. Под контролем мэрии. Уникальное свидетельство непосредственного участника событий" [To whom the Neva gave a chance: The gambling business in St. Petersburg was started by Russian organized crime groups and Japanese yakuza. Under the control of the city hall. Unique evidence of a direct participant in the events]. Novaya Gazeta. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (21 April 2016). "Путин глазами якудзы. Японский мафиози рассказал о своем бизнесе в Петербурге" [Putin through the eyes of the Yakuza. Japanese mafiosi spoke about his business in St. Petersburg]. The Insider (in Russian). Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (2 July 2015). "Мафия на госзаказе. Как новые кремлевские олигархи связаны с преступным миром" [Mafia at the state order. How are the new Kremlin oligarchs connected with the underworld]. The Insider (in Russian). Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (21 January 2016). "Путин и мафия. За что убили Александра Литвиненко" [Putin and mafia. Why Alexander Litvinenko was killed]. The Insider (in Russian). Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
- Khaknazarov, Usman (20 February 2003). "Renascence of "Power Broker" of Uzbek Policy: Or how Uzbek president Islam Karimov is reverting to the hands of his first master". muslimuzbekistan.com. Archived from the original on 26 May 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
- Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (16 December 2013). "Путин на "личной службе" у князя Альбера" [Putin on "personal service" with Prince Albert]. Радио Свобода (Radio Svoboda). Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- Bonner, Raymond (1 November 1993). "Georgian Fighter Wields Guns, Money and Charm". New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- "Treasury Designates Brothers' Circle Members". US Department of Treasury. 6 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Obama Calls "Brothers' Circle" a National Security Threat...But Who Are They?". Hetq.am. 14 March 2012. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Sinelnikov, Mikhail (11 July 2011). "Russian mafia most powerful in the world?". Pravda.ru. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "War on International Criminals Continues". BBC News. 20 July 2012. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Semion Mogilevich Organization: Eurasian Organized Crime" (PDF). FBI. August 1996. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "The Russian mafia and its impact on the Russian economy". Archived from the original on 27 December 2013.
- "Russian mafia controls economy and politics".
- Galeotti, Mark. 2018. The Vory. Yale University Press.
- Morcillo, Cruz; Muñoz, Pablo (26 October 2010). Palabra de Vor: Las mafias rusas en España (in Spanish). Espasa Forum. ISBN 978-8467034356.
- Varese, Federico. 2005. The Russian Mafia. Oxford University Press.