Solntsevskaya Bratva

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Solntsevskaya Bratva
Founding locationSolntsevo District, Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Years activeLate 1980s – present
TerritoryRussia, Ukraine, Hungary, Denmark, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United States, Israel, United Kingdom, France, Spain, South Africa, Canada and other parts of Europe, Africa and Australia.[1]
EthnicityPredominantly Russians, Russian Jews and Ukrainians
Criminal activitiesRacketeering, extortion, illegal gambling, arms trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, drug trafficking, robbery, arson, bribery, money laundering, fraud, murder, assault, kidnapping
AlliesOrekhovskaya gang, Bulgarian Mafia, Serbian mafia, and business partnerships with Colombian cartels, Chinese Triads, Sicilian Mafia, Camorra and 'Ndrangheta

The Solntsevskaya Organized Crime Group (Russian: Солнцевская организованная преступная группировка), also known as the Solntsevskaya Bratva (Russian: Солнцевская братва), is a Russian crime syndicate group.

Other simplified versions of the name are Solntsevskaya Brotherhood and Solntsevskaya gang. The group is not a common gang, but a well organized criminal organization.

Rise to power[edit]

The Solntsevskaya gang was founded in the late 1980s by Sergei Mikhailov, a former waiter who had served a prison term for fraud. Based in the Solntsevo District of Moscow, the gang recruited local unemployed, aggressive young men as foot soldiers and also made use of thief in law Dzhemal Khachidze to enhance their reputation amongst established criminals. The Solntsevo District was also strategically located near the M3 highway leading to Ukraine, the MKAD, Moscow's ring road, as well as the Vnukovo International Airport. Controlling these transport hubs allowed the Solntsevo group to muscle in on the car import business.[2] But by the early 1990s, the Solntsevo's dominance was challenged by the Chechen mafia. Together with the Orekhovskaya gang and other Slavic mobs, the Solntsevo made an alliance to drive the Chechens out.[3] The gang war claimed many casualties, such as a gun battle at the Kazakhstan Cinema where six Chechens and four Russians were killed.[4] After the Soviet Union collapsed, the gang utilized the chaos to empower themselves by establishing relationships with politicians. They were now able to influence the Russian state for their own benefit. They also bought several legitimate businesses to launder their money including banks, casinos, and even the Vnukovo airport. [5]

The gang was at one point linked to criminal mastermind Semion Mogilevich, through whom they laundered money. But a 1995 party at a Prague hotel, attended by Mikhailov as well as Uzbek drug trafficker Gafur Rakhimov, was raided by Czech police who received information that they were planning to kill Mogilevich there following a dispute. Mogilevich himself was nowhere to be found, having received advance information about both groups' intentions.[6]

By the end of the 1990s, the Solntsevskaya gang started moving into the banking sector, a move which enabled them to launder their money as well as get closer to the oligarchs.[7]

Activity overseas[edit]

In the 1990s, the Solntsevskaya dispatched Vyacheslav Ivankov to Brighton Beach, New York City, and Mikhail Odenussa to Atlanta, Georgia, to take control of the Russian mob activities there. The FBI was alerted to Ivankov's presence, however, and after a long investigation he was arrested and convicted of extortion, becoming the first thief-in-law to be convicted in the United States. While Ivankov was not as successful, his counterpart Odenussa has been controlling Russian organized crime in Atlanta for over 20 years, while avoiding prosecution. Odenussa has had a firm grip on the city, with an army of killers to back him up. Although not as large as the drug cartels of Mexico that have sent men to try and set up shop in Atlanta, Odenussa and his cohorts have out-gunned the Mexican drug cartels and the African American gangs in Atlanta.[8] The Solntsevskaya have also been active in Israel, primarily using it as a base for money laundering. But attempts to infiltrate Israeli politics were countered by vigilant law enforcement.[9]

Doktor's Bratvavor Is a subdivision of the Solntsevskaya Bratva, being independently operated and headed by the notorious Doktor Spatz, after his refusal to submit to Odenussa's order, and an agreement was reached to form an alliance between the groups. [10][failed verification] Spatz singlehandedly controls a large portion of upstate New York, encompassing large cities such as Rochester and Syracuse, outnumbering the African American and Mexican street gangs of the area. [11] The organization is also involved in the international cocaine trade, with its links to Colombian drug cartels brokered by the Cuntrera-Caruana Mafia clan.[12]

Current status and recent activity[edit]

According to the US, as published during the 2010 Wikileaks scandal, the Solntsevo gang continues racketeering operations under the protection of the FSB, a Russian state security agency.[13] In September 2017, Arnold Tamm was arrested in Marbella, Spain, during the Spanish operation Oligarch (Spanish: operación Oligarca) under suspicion of tax evasion, money laundering, and involvement in the activities of the Solntsevskaya group.[14][15][16][17][18]


  • Kadik's gang
  • Monya's Bridge
  • Doktor's Bratvavor

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Editora Escala - Livro a História do Crime Organizado". Archived from the original on 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  2. ^ McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld - Misha Glenny
  3. ^ Khlebnikov P.; Conversation with a Barbarian: Interviews with a Chechen Field Commander on Banditry and Islam - Moscow, Detekiv-Press, 2003
  4. ^ Paul Khlebnikov - Godfather of the Kremlin
  5. ^ "Profile of Russian Mafia boss Sergei Mikhailov". Gangsters Inc. - 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  6. ^ "The Billion Dollar Don" (Transcript of BBC Panorama documentary which cites Mikhailov and Solntsevskaya in association with Mogilevich)
  7. ^ Glenny; McMafia
  8. ^ Friedman, Robert; Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America; 2000
  9. ^ Gentelev, Alexander; Thieves by Law; 2010
  10. ^ Gentelev, Alexander; Thieves by Law; 2010
  11. ^ Friedman, Robert; Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America; 2000
  12. ^ Glenny; McMafia
  13. ^ US embassy cables: Moscow mayor oversees corrupt system, says US
  14. ^ RUIZ FÁJULA, DAMIÁN (26 September 2017). "La Guardia Civil estrecha el cerco a la mafia rusa en la Costa del Sol" [The Civil Guard narrows the siege of the Russian mafia on the Costa del Sol]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2022. Alternate archive
  15. ^ Ortega Dolz, Patricia (28 March 2022). "La silenciosa mafia rusa: así opera en España. Oligarcas amparados por Putin se han asentado por el territorio con millones de euros del crimen organizado o de empresas estratégicas privatizadas tras caer la URSS" [The silent Russian mafia: this is how it operates in Spain. Oligarchs protected by Putin have settled in the territory with millions of euros from organized crime or strategic companies privatized after the fall of the USSR]. El Pais (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 30 March 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Sergey Dozhdev's statement on Gref and Sechin – Spain". Transborder Corruption Archives ( 17 October 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Report on the SOLNTSEVSKAYA criminal organization". Transborder Corruption Archives ( (in Russian). 5 November 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Report on the SOLNTSEVSKAYA criminal organization". Transborder Corruption Archives ( (in Spanish). 18 October 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2022.

External links[edit]