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les Vory V Zakone sous toutes les coutures

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les Vory V Zakone sous toutes les coutures

Message  Metalmek le Lun 05 Jan 2009, 9:46 am


Thief in law
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thief in law (Russian: вор в законе, "vor v zakone"; plural thieves in law "vory v zakone") is a skilled individual within the Russian criminal world who satisfies certain requirements of the Russian criminal traditions and are similar to the "Cosa Nostra" in Italy.[1]


Although Russia has long had criminals and bandits operating in the vast peripheral areas of the nation, during the disorder of the Revolution armed gangs proliferated until they were a very significant factor in society. This became known as the "vorovskoy mir" or "thieves' world".

As the Soviet Union was brought back to order, the NKVD nearly destroyed the criminal underworld in the Soviet Union. However, it was in the prison camps (gulags) of Stalin that a new system arose, the vory v zakone.

The "thieves in law" formed as a society for mutual support within the prison camps, "governed the dark gaps in Soviet life beyond the reach of the KGB and adopted a system of collective responsibility, and swearing a code of "complete submission to the laws of criminal life, including obligations to support the criminal ideal, and rejection of labor and political activities."

As an example, should a Vor (вор) ever be unfortunate enough to be incarcerated in a prison camp, he would refuse to perform any labor, as the code would mandate that "Thy own prison shalt thou not make." The groups also organized their own courts around a code of thieves honor and tradition. Acceptance into the group was often marked by extensive tattooing (see Criminal tattoo). The tattooing would often be indicative of rank within the society and/or noteworthy criminal accomplishments. Reportedly, "while the Communist Party had a steadfast grip on government and society, the Vory had something of a monopoly on crime."

After the breakup of the Soviet Union the vory assumed a leading role within the Russian criminal hierarchy (see Russian Mafia). The group was able to "infiltrate the top political and economic strata while taking command of a burgeoning crime network that spread murderously through the post-Soviet countries." They are given the title by other vory and in order to be accepted they must demonstrate considerable leadership skills, personal ability, intellect and charisma. Once accepted they must live according to the code. The penalty for violation of this code is often mutilation or death. Reportedly, "today the Vory has spread around the world, to Madrid, Berlin and New York" and is "involved in everything from petty theft to billion-dollar money-laundering while also acting as unofficial arbiter among conflicting Russian criminal factions."

One famous Vor V Zakone is Vladimir Podatev who was appointed a member of the commission for human rights under President Yeltsin, in spite of three previous felony convictions for murder, assault, and rape. Another famous vor is Vyacheslav Ivankov, notorious mobster with convictions in both the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Reportedly, as capitalism begun to take hold of Russia, an increasing number of college educated criminals began to take over more lucrative ventures.[1] While these new criminal actors first worked with the Vory in the 1990s, in the first decade of the 21st century, ties to big business and government grew in importance.[1] Consequently, while the "Vory are still strong in gambling and retail trade," their importance "in Russian economy and society" has decreased.

The Thief's Code

According to Aleksandr Gurov, an expert on the Vory who headed the organized crime units of the Soviet Interior Ministry and the KGB, "unlike the Cosa Nostra the Vory has 'less rules, but more severe rules' [and the] members must have no ties to the government, meaning they cannot serve in the army or cooperate with officials while in prison. They must also have served several jail sentences before they can claim the distinction. They should not marry."

Furthermore, "ethnicity has rarely determined whether someone can join the club, and today most members, even those active inside Russia, are from other post-Soviet countries and are not ethnic Russians."

Under the code of the vory, a thief must:

  • Forsake his relatives—father, brothers, sisters.
  • Not have a family of his own—no wife, no children; this does not however, preclude him from having a lover.
  • Never, under any circumstances, work, no matter how much difficulty this brings; live only on means gleaned from theft. Violent crimes and sex crimes are strongly frowned upon and may endanger a vor's status. Arms smuggling and drug trafficking are considered a form of commerce and are therefore incompatible with the status of a thief in law. (Except if those weapon are stolen and resold on the black market)
  • Help other thieves—both by moral and material support, utilizing the commune of thieves.
  • Keep secret information about the whereabouts of accomplices (i.e. dens, districts, hideouts, safe apartments, etc.).
  • In unavoidable situations (if a thief is under investigation) to take the blame for someone else's crime; this buys the other person time of freedom.
  • Demand a convocation of inquiry for the purpose of resolving disputes in the event of a conflict between oneself and other thieves, or between thieves.
  • If necessary, participate in such inquiries.
  • Carry out the punishment of the offending thief as decided by the convocation.
  • Not resist carrying out the decision of punishing the offending thief who is found guilty, with punishment determined by the convocation.
  • Have good command of the thieves' jargon ("Fenya").
  • Not gamble without being able to cover losses.
  • Teach the trade to young beginners.
  • Have, if possible, informants from the rank and file of thieves.
  • Not lose your reasoning ability when using alcohol.
  • Have nothing to do with the authorities (particularly with the ITU, Correctional Labor Authority), not participate in public activities, nor join any community organizations.
  • Not take weapons from the hands of authorities; not serve in the military. But ex-military are welcomed !
  • Make good on promises given to other thieves.
Gobelin avec le point de vie éternel
Gobelin avec le point de vie éternel

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