Talk:Thief in law

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Podatev convictions are different on this page and the page about him.

Here are some comments on the Bitch War topic. Here is a quote: "by agreeing to join the Soviet army and fight against Nazi Germany during World War 2 (in exchange for being freed from prison)."

Comment: From what I read in more than one source, Bitches were not just offered freedom in exchange for fighting in the war, but the only alternative they were given was death. It was a war time with "законы военного времени"-zakony voyennogo vremeni-war time laws. Basically, if they said "no" they would have been shot without any due process. (talk) 07:42, 7 November 2010 (UTC)Roman Durbin:

Thiefs in law[edit]

Hi there! I wanna say there are some mistakes. The word MIR in 'Vorovskoy Mir in Russian (i.e. воровской мир) or "Thieves World"' means community, not world. Community is obschina for russian, and this word is correlated with obschak (shared treasure of criminals)
For example community of peasants was named 'mir', and visitors of the Veche was 'mir'. Also FYI - 'vor' was the insurgent in the pre-imperial time, who fought against Tsar or renegade.

Vori v zakanoi translates to thiefs within the law, not thiefs in law. First, the word "v" is only literarly "in." In the context of the phrase, the word means "within." Second, these guys don't have their relatives married. I propose a change of the title of the article. --RossF18 04:34, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

This should be included somewhere, yes, but I'm pretty sure it does literally translate to "thieves in law," due to the differences between English and Russian. Russian is much more straight-forward: for example, you would, I believe, say something along the lines of "pass salt please" as opposed to "please pass me the salt," which explains the translation more accurately in my opinion. (talk) 08:36, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Given that I'm a Russian speaker, you'd be well served trusting me on this. Even if you're a fan of literal translations, which is often incorrect, vori means thiefs, not thief. Vor singular in Russian means Thief. And Russian is not Tarzan speak and is more akin to Spanish in its alliterations. Thus, while vori v zakoni literally translates into thiefs in law if you were to translate it word for word, if you were a Russian speaker, you'd realize that it really means thieves within the law, especially considering that translating the Russian phrase as thiefs in law seems to be more akin to sister-in-law or brother-in-law in its meaning. The point here is that these thiefs opperate within the law, as opposed to theifs that are brothers-in-law. --RossF18 (talk) 22:41, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
We should be saying what things actually mean, not just translating them word-for-word - see here for basis. I don't speak Russian, but if someone who does reads this and agrees with it, I think it should be changed. be bold, Russian speakers! SetaLyas (talk) 15:04, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
A quick note. Translating the phrase as thiefs within the law does not mean that these thiefs are working withing the reputable system of laws of common society (quite the opposite). The law is the thief's law or code. It seems that many newspapers even translate the phrase as in law but that just doesn't make sense, at least to me. Now, if the phrase is meant to underly the fact that the thiefs are forming a brotherhood and are in fact becoming like brothers-in-law, that's fine. But that has not been made clear. If the phrase is meant to underline the almost family bond between the thiefs, then thiefs in law might fit, but if the phrase is meant to highlight the special code or law that these thiefs are agreeing to live by, than thiefs within the law seems more appropriate. --RossF18 (talk) 16:26, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

There is the word thief that is a very inaccurate translation. The Russian word «вор»(vor) had a primary meaning outlaw or criminal. It's true that in modern common Russian language «вор» usually has a narrow sense (a thief). But Russian: вор в законе(vor v zakone) means not only thieves, and primarily not thieves, and «вор» remains a sense very close to one in Russian of XVII century etc. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 17:54, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't have an issue with translating vor as thief, since that's a common translation and common meaning of the word now, regardless of its origins. To make a crude comparison, and not to offend anyone, but just because the word gay predominanetly mean happy as recently as 50 years ago, doesn't mean that that is the word's primary meaning now. And the criminal organization that is being referred to in this article is rather recent, comparatively, to the 17'th century meaning of the word that Incnis cites. So, as far as current times is concerned, I doubt that "vor" was ever meant as an outlaw. Also, I'd like to point out that a thief is a type of criminal and you can even argue a type of outlaw, since a thief lives out of legal bounds. If you mean outlaw as in Wild West type of outlaw, then the phraze thief in law is even more poorly translated, but my main issue is the translation of the "in" as part of the phraze. Last point, last time I checked, thief translates directly into "vor" in most modern dictionaries.--RossF18 (talk) 23:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I could argue that the expression "Воры в законе" (Vory v zakone) is an idiom (probably part of "phenya" - the crypted criminal slang) which is hard to understand even by Russian natives (and I'm one). In the common Russian language the word combination "в законе" means rather "in the paper making the law"; when wishing to say "according to the law" one says "по закону" (using another preposition!). I remember that when I first heard this expression, I thought of criminals working at the militsiya ("в милиции", at the police) but was a little surprised at such an indirect metaphor ("милиция" - "закон")  ;). Further, the natural means to express the idea of submission or constraint is the preposition "под" and not "в" (*"под законом"; "все мы под Богом ходим" - we are all in God's hands). So the translation of this idiom may also be idiomatic; and I see that Google reports about 25 millions results for the query "Thieves in law", so there is no need for renaming.

You can verify the use of prepositions with the word "закон" using dictionaries (e.g. at; by digging further you probably will even find out that the word "воры" in the expression in question has unusual stress ("ворЫ instead of "вОры"; but I'm not so sure as I did not hear this expression recently). (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC).

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"A lozenge with an Orthodox cross inside (as finger ring) indicates a thief-in-law" -- elaborate "t-i-l". Also, like with "МИР", explain other meanings.

Notable thieves in law - someone keeps messing it up[edit]

Who the hell keeps making Kalashov a Russian and deleting Kolbayev?? (talk) 01:20, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Kalashov, Usoyan and Mirzoyev are not Russians. They are Georgian-Yezid Kurds. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I think there's a misunderstanding between ethnicity and nationality. While all of those guys are ethnic Kurds, they're Russians by nationality. I guess it could be added as another column to avoid further confusion. (talk) 22:20, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Good point, gentlemen. Are Thiefs an ethnic criminal network from Caucasus? Judging by the current news, very much so. Not in the sense of this article though) Ukrained2012 (talk) 00:39, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Scope and definiton[edit]

Ladies and gentlemen, this article would benefit tremendously from our decision on the main article(s) describing and structuring the Organized crime in Russia and Organized crime in Soviet Union. I realize that those articles are MUCH harder to maintain than this term-based one, but nonetheless) Wishes, Ukrained2012 (talk) 00:35, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Stray section to move elsewhere, moved per silent consensus[edit]

"Petukhi" ("the roosters")[edit]

These are the lowest layer of inmates, something like the pariahs. They are the subject of constant humiliating acts (including anal rape) from other inmates.[1]

They are not allowed to touch the "normal" inmates or to share any items with them, and occupy the worst places in the prison cell. Contacting a "petukh" is "zapadlo" and can sometimes even lead the other person to be declared a "petuh" - usually by beating and knocking under the bed ("pod shkonku").

Sometimes, a person can become a "petukh" due to the offense for which he is imprisoned. Sexual offenses, especially against minors or women completely unknown to the offender (street rapes), are an example (rape of women after being her guest and drinking with her is not considered a humiliating deed). Homosexual acts were illegal from 1933 to 1993, and all those jailed for this were automatically considered petukhi.[2]

The status of "petukh" is lifelong and cannot be cancelled. A "petukh" is obliged to warn everybody on his status (the standard formula - "I have problems in this life") in any new prison/camp he is relocated to, and even in his possible next imprisonment after serving the current punishment and being released. Otherwise, it is considered that he polluted ("zashkvaril") the normal people who had any contact with him while being unaware of his "petukh" status. This can lead to a severe beating or even murder.

citation for bitches war[edit]

Applebaum's Gulag has a full chapter dedicated to the Bitches war. Her d escription is a bit different than what is described here. She protrays the Bitches as part of an attempt by the Soviet authorities to re-establish control over the prisons.

  1. ^ "(Ir)relevance of condoms in prisons", Hernán Reyes MD, ICRC Geneva
  2. ^ "GAY IN THE GULAG",