Journal Article – D. Siegel, “Vory v zakone: Russian Organized Crime”, 2012

Dina Siegel, “Vory v zakone: Russian Organized Crime”, Studies of Organized Crime, 2012, Volume 11, Traditional Organized Crime in the Modern World, Part 1, Pages 27-47


This article discusses major changes in the criminal traditions, rituals and activities of Russian organized crime, the role of vory v zakone throughout history, and the creation of a new image and a new reputation of the Russian Mafia in the post-Soviet period. Organized crime has always existed in Russia, but the years of reform and transition have been crucial in the emergence of new criminal groups and new forms of criminality. The latest events in the Russian underworld are described to highlight the conflict between the traditional vory v zakone and the new generation of post-reform criminals who have strong ties to business and politics and are currently trying to oust the vory from their traditional leading position.