The Vory

Russia's Super Mafia

Mark Galeotti

View Inside Price: $28.00


May 22, 2018
344 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
16 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300186826
Hardcover

The first English-language book to document the men who emerged from the gulags to become Russia’s much-feared crime class: the vory v zakone

Mark Galeotti is the go-to expert on organized crime in Russia, consulted by governments and police around the world. Now, Western readers can explore the fascinating history of the vory v zakone, a group that has survived and thrived amid the changes brought on by Stalinism, the Cold War, the Afghan War, and the end of the Soviet experiment.
 
The vory—as the Russian mafia is also known—was born early in the twentieth century, largely in the Gulags and criminal camps, where they developed their unique culture. Identified by their signature tattoos, members abided by the thieves’ code, a strict system that forbade all paid employment and cooperation with law enforcement and the state. Based on two decades of on-the-ground research, Galeotti’s captivating study details the vory’s journey to power from their early days to their adaptation to modern-day Russia’s free-wheeling oligarchy and global opportunities beyond.

Mark Galeotti is senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations, Prague. An expert and prolific author on transnational crime and Russian security affairs, he has also advised the British Foreign Office and many government and law enforcement agencies in Europe and North America.

"The culmination of more than twenty-five years of writing on Russian organized crime, Vory is destined to become the standard work on the subject. It is instructive and shocking—and a pleasure to read."—Federico Varese, author of Mafia Life

"To understand power in contemporary Russia, this is a must read."—Misha Glenny, author of McMafia

"Galeotti lays bare the lattices of power and influence between official Russia and its criminal organizations. This is the best guide to understanding the workings of the Kremlin since Mario Puzo's The Godfather."—Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Former President of Estonia

“Gritty, historically grounded and superbly readable, this is an essential work by one of the most knowledgeable and dispassionate observers of contemporary Russia.”—Rachel Polonsky, author of Molotov's Magic Lantern

"Galeotti writes with wit, clarity and authority about the grimly fascinating, and all-too-important, history of organized crime and its outsize role in shaping contemporary Russian society and government."—Michael Weiss, CNN National Security Analyst

The Vory masterfully combines the startling stories of Russian crime lords with deft and nuanced analysis— it terrifies yet deftly brings a sense of proportion to the problem.”—Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible

“No one is better than Mark Galeotti when it comes to explaining the world of the vory and how it has evolved to the present day”—Charles Clover, author of Black Wind, White Snow