Criminal kings

“the” begins a series of articles on thieves in law — the “generals” of the underworld. Appearing in the early twentieth century, these people outside the law quickly became the head of the entire crime first the USSR and then Russia. Thieves are not like other crime bosses: they are distinguished by their own ideology, rituals and a kind of “code of honor” which is strikingly different from the rest of the bandits. Their world is safely hidden from prying eyes, and the lawyers themselves rarely make it into the crime reports, while managing everything that is happening on the other side of the law, not only in the post-Soviet space but also beyond it. In the first text of the series, I will discuss how there was a caste of thieves, how to create her unspoken rules, and how varied the world of lawyers for decades.

it is believed that the first thieves appeared in the late 20’s-early 30-ies of XX century. Of course, criminals with a clear ideology (for example, Moses Vinnitsa, known in criminal circles as Mishka Yaponchik) existed before. But they are loners who, unlike lawyers, were not a unified force, the associated General code of conduct. However, if the time of appearance of thieves about you know, about how exactly they appeared at the crime scene, there are three major versions.

the First and most banal — says that thieves have become a product of the prison environment in a difficult time for the country: behind bars, as in any closed community, at the helm of the most powerful and influential members. Over time, these “leaders” of inmates was the second power in the prison, speaking and judges, and punitive among the prisoners.

In the second version, the progenitors of the lawyers are white officers who, after the civil war were not destiny: many of them went to prison. Their comrades on the outside, often went out on the criminal path, called ghanami and eventually got imprisoned. “Ideological” jigani actively fought with the origano — criminals who do not adhere to any rules and was eager to lead the underworld, going on corpses: about the atrocities and cruelty of former white guards remembered with horror the prisoners of the Solovki special purpose camp (SLON) who are not lucky enough to get there in the 30-ies of XX century.

Conspiracy theorists believe that ex-tsarist supporters chose the path of the secret resistance of the new government: they began to Rob and plunder the Soviet state, which destroyed their lives. Indirect confirmation of this theory is that the later-established code of honour amongst thieves sometimes echoes the principles of white officers.

Finally, the third version says that the appearance of the thieves had a hand in the people’s Commissariat of internal Affairs (NKVD). Allegedly in conditions when the country has a huge number of prisoners through fierce Gulag system was “screened” millions of people — the Soviet state was the necessary support in the domestic sector barbed wire agencies. Then the security forces came up with the idea to artificially distinguish among the prisoners and the lawyers, who, thanks to his authority, began to manage the bulk of the prisoners.

the Opponents of this theory note: thieves rules strictly prohibit any contact with the authorities, turning the lawyers of the dissidents of the underworld. If thieves really planted by the NKVD, the criminal world, such a plan probably would be quickly discovered and would have been a failure. However, in favor of “poisonousness” some of the thieves says that after the great Patriotic war, they really went to the side of the authorities — and were mercilessly cut those lawyers who were truly loyal to the thieves ‘ idea. It was a real war behind bars — because by the beginning of the war, the USSR had about 3.5 thousand thieves.

the end of the great Patriotic war was marked by a new influx of prisoners in the Soviet camps. Among them were lawyers, who fought at the front for the Soviet Union — but returned to jail, they are faced with don’t understand those thieves who are on the front were not. The last thought on thieves ‘ concepts involved in the fighting is the deal with the government. For lawyers, soldiers began the persecution, they refused to be considered thieves, but those with this state of Affairs to agree didn’t want. On areas increasingly began to erupt parochial conflicts — and the government, dissatisfied with the stubborn and rebellious thieves, did not fail to take advantage of the split in their ranks and supported the persecuted. So began the confrontation that went down in history of the criminal world under the name of “bitch wars”.

the”Real” lawyers began to call their opponents that have received state support, “thieves spread out”, and more — just bitches. Feeling the force of the bitches were not just swiftly crush enemies, but also to pay the thieves in their ranks. This was done through special rituals: to go to the bitches, the lawyer was enough, for example, to kiss the blade of a knife or “ringing the bell” — to strike with a heavy object on a prepared rail.

“Thieves spread out” did not hesitate to kill opponents who are together called sheep: the thieves old school decapitated them, burned them with electric shocks, cut with knives — and sometimes poking a red-hot crowbar into the anus. These sadistic practices have contributed to the mass influx to the bitches of lawyers who wouldn’t in terrible pain to die. After bitch war, many of the rogue tried to go back to the thieves old school but were not accepted.

rolled out the thieves acted not only where sat themselves: they staged the so-called “Truelove” — these trips camp units consisting of inveterate criminals. These death squads roamed from zone to zone, arranged in each marathons of violence and forced the thieves to move on to bitches. One of the most famous such units was the team of thief Vaska Pivovarova, who fought in a penal battalion, and later became “our man” in the NKVD. The main purpose of her “mission” was to support and demonstrate the power of the branch, which by this time was in each camp.

In this terrible situation thieves of the old school had to change their rules of behavior to survive corny. In their harsh code, there were exceptions: for example, the lawyers in jail had the opportunity to become group leaders and barbers (before any administrative work behind bars with thieves was strictly taboo). This allowed the thieves to feed, and defend themselves: often scissors, secretly carried out of the camp Barber shop, served as weapons in the attack branch. Despite these tricks, in the mid 50-ies, when the branches of the war ended, the number of lawyers has been greatly reduced: some of the thieves were killed, some went to the bitches. But there were those who managed to lay low, survive the massacre and bide your time.

After a bitch war camp tranquility did not last long: in the early 60-ies in the zones began the oppression of the prisoners — they cut the number of meetings with relatives, has tightened the regime, and most importantly, reduced the possibilities to transfer. Then came the “finest hour” surviving the lawyers who had connections and their channels of supply of food —so valuable behind bars sausages, tea, cigarettes, and the like. Of course, all this was not free — but the ordinary prisoners have agreed to pay any money just to taste something other than the terrible prison gruel. Gradually the law began to be treated as the benefactors that played into their hands.

However, the picture for the thieves was rosy at first glance: loosed steam bitches have not gone away — and took a break, started again to push their sworn enemies, albeit not as aggressively as in the female war. For lawyers it is a time of change: the mastermind behind the adjustments of the thieves ‘ code became a thief Anatoly Cherkasov (Cherkas). However, it later emerged that he had concealed from thieves community for two state awards received in the war — but history, as we know, not rewrite.

Cherkas tabled lawyers four main proposals. First, he began to argue for the abolition of the rule that a thief must sit in jail from time to time. The author of the “amendments” reasonably said that the freedom of lawyers will be much more effective. According to Cherkasov, to represent their interests in places of deprivation of liberty for legalists would have been much better represented — “polozhentsev” and “looking”, which shortly thereafter became known as the “trump pigeons”.

the Second idea of the innovator was to impose a tribute to the thieves ‘ obshchak “tsehovikov” — until the late 80-ies was called the underground entrepreneurs. This amount is levied on illegal traders, according to the idea of Cherkas was not supposed to be predatory in theory, desperate machinists could contact the police. Thieves, of course, it was useless.

the Third item of its programme Cherkas was proposed to mitigate the ban on cooperation with law enforcement. No, to inform, to confess and be known as the victims the thieves still had no rights. But to sign the paper with the renunciation of criminal activity with which the guards tried to suppress all thieves movement, are now allowed. While Cherkas nod to the old thieves ‘ law, saying, the word is given to a law enforcement officer. Finally, a thief, a reformer proposed to make a “roof” for the community of thieves in the environment of dishonest officials and guardians of the law, which was supposed to bribe for money.

All proposals Cherkasova was approved at the thieves ‘ meeting (the meeting), which occurred in the early 70-ies in Kiev. However, as shown, the adjustments demanded item on levies from tsehovikov: some lawyers still have started to be greedy, to take more than the — and on the horizon loomed a serious conflict. However, it managed to avoid thanks to the meeting of 1979, held in Kislovodsk. For the first time in the history of the world of thieves to the meeting were invited the foreign representatives tsehovikov. Together, the congregation decided that from now on, lawyers are entitled to charge entrepreneurs no more than ten percent of their profits. This situation suited both sides.

Thieves code, as amended by Cherkas is still in effect. At first he followed the lawyers were called thieves of the new formation, but over the years it has become common to all. However, the blow inflicted on it by the “dashing” 90-e: in the time of troubles in the prominent thieves in law became fashionable to take the patronage of organised criminal groups (OPG). Some lawyers were even considered to be gang leaders and rapidly amass capital that did not bring the reputation of the thieves any good. The number of lawyers who adhere to the uniform code of thieves, is rapidly decreased.

the cornerstone of the current code of the legalist is the devotion to the idea of thieves: the thief must constantly confront the government and not to cooperate with him, to be outside society and have no social ties, in particular, not to start a family. However, family values among the lawyers respect: people related by marriage, it is customary to help; also in the world of criminal “generals” respect their elders and parents, especially mothers.

in Addition to the family, the thief in the law should not have a permanent place of residence. Employment is also taboo for the lawyer, the code is strictly prohibited. Not welcome in the underworld environment and business: it is believed that to feed a lawyer needs only to its criminal trade.

the Code also prohibits thieves lie to their “colleagues”, to steal from them illegally retaliate to other lawyers, if revenge is not approved by the entire underworld community. Interestingly, in the “gentleman’s set” of each thief must include the ability to honestly play cards with other lawyers. This skill shows that the man is fearless and willing to take the risk of losing anything from money to a private life.

Not commitment to such VA-Bank is not only infidelity thieves the idea, but also a manifestation of cowardice, is not valid for this lawyer. In General, the resistance and the readiness with dignity to endure any hardships and sorrow in the criminal world is highly valued; its no wonder people often call themselves “carpigiani”. By the way, because self-esteem is very important for any thief, the code of lawyers forbids them to raise a hand to each other or to jump into their midst empty and unsubstantiated insults.

While in prison, lawyers are supposed to take in hand the reins of the lives of other inmates. The thieves behind bars enhance their power, keep order and provide other lawyers, zagraevsky in a penal insulator (SHIZO). In addition, criminal “generals” collected from inmates tribute to the common Fund and replenish it. Another thieves obligation (as in prison and at liberty) — recruitment in the ranks of criminals youth and teaching her the rules of “life concepts”, in fact, the training of new “cadres.”

by the Way, today thief in law can only become a man — but it was not always so. Before the war, the USSR had about 500 “sekonic”: completely gone this criminal caste only in 1956. Then the lawyers decided that from now wear the thieves the title of women don’t. Substantiated simple: a thief cannot have sexual encounters with men and women have them provided by nature, so zakonnica them not to be.

Such a global solution thieves take together, met at a regular meeting. It can take place anywhere — the history knows a case when the thief in the law Sergey Lipchansky (Siberian) organized a meeting of lawyers in the dungeons of the famous Butyrka, just agreeing with the guards. Although, of course, where most of the thieves intend in restaurants or out of town. However, such a large event, like a thieves ‘ meeting, quickly learn and operatives, and then meeting lawyers often leads to mass arrests.

in order to become a member of the thieves club, the applicant must meet certain conditions: have a few served time in jail and bail of at least two existing “legalists” with the thieves ‘ titles at least five years each. If the conditions are met, all the colonies is posted “thieves run” (“kite”): the message that so-and-so wants to be a kingpin. This is done, firstly, to inform the criminal world, and secondly, to gather information about the candidate.

Maybe he hides that has a gambling debt? Have been having sex with a man? Knocking on someone? If this turns out the way the lawyers for the applicant is closed. If nothing interesting and is contrary to a thieves code in the biography of the candidate is not appointed the day of dedication, which can take place both in the area, and outside his prison cell. By the way, before the very initiation for Christians called “baptism”, and for Muslims — “the coronation”. Now more often used common to all religions wording — “the question” on a person.

At the dedication of a small-time thief takes an oath, in which it agrees to honor thieves ‘ traditions. Sometimes he beat the tattoo of a heart pierced by a dagger. However, this is not necessarily — and the famous thief “stars” on his shoulders and does become a thing of the past.

Voluntarily relinquish the powers of the thieves the lawyer can only be for one reason — serious illness, not allowing him to attend the gatherings. In this case, it refers to the world of thieves with the request to send his “retirement”. After verification of the veracity, the lawyer released to the world. At this the thieves of the title “retired” shall not be deprived, only slightly changing the name — now it is called “a thief in the crown”.

But if you voluntarily give up its powers, the thief actually can’t, then lose the title for misconduct — quite. How to punish the guilty, the thieves decide the whole world, on the General gathering.

the lawyer as the Guilty usually are invited to the meeting; of the coming judgment it does not warn. After he was charged — necessarily with the evidence, “the defendant” has a right to defend myself by any arguments. If all his efforts in vain, the thief admits to “guilty” and the participants of the gathering choose his punishment.

The easiest of all is the humiliating slap in the face that “convicted” weigh the other kingpin. At the same time to beat back, otherwise can and do lose their titles: the punishment is different, “debunking”, “askarovna” or “plundering”. The current thief has the lawyer’s ears — and he becomes “the man”: behind bars it will have to take as a simple barman without any privileges.

as to the most terrible punishment of the criminal world, it is, as elsewhere, the death penalty. The lawyer can kill for very serious offenses: snitching, treachery, willfully killing another thief or unauthorized addition from itself powers of the thieves. Imposed “sentence” only at the gathering of the main lawyers of the whole region of the country: the most popular variant of its execution is considered suicide. The guilty should kill herself. Of course, ready for this is not all: some are trying to stall for time, the other a fugitive.

In this case in the criminal world there are regular killers liquidators, who find the fugitives and lead “sentences” in execution. Usually such killers skillfully mask the massacre by accidents: the victim can push under the car or to fake food poisoning, hiding the poison. From the exotic — the fugitive could slip a prostitute who at the most unexpected moment will make him a lethal injection.

However, if such sophisticated ways possible, “convict” can just put in concrete shoes and send it to the bottom of the reservoir, as it liked to do, participants of various organized crime groups. And sometimes the executioners not only did not try to hide their actions, but, on the contrary, satisfied with the likeness of acts of intimidation: a case where the liquidator has overtaken “the convict” for the betrayal of a fugitive train, where he gouged out his eyes, cut off his tongue and ears, which are then hammered a nail.

In the criminal world known and another story where one of the provincial Russian towns the offending lawyer was forced to crawl into the period of the construction of the pipeline and welded shut the entrance. A few days miserable in the pitch dark looking for a way out, until by chance it came across. However, to get it out, but that’s crazy: for a long time “condemned” vain was treated in a psychiatric hospital and eventually committed suicide.

the Exact number of thieves that are now in Russia is difficult to call: it prevents the maximum conspiracy in their midst. However, it is estimated that in 2013 there were about four hundred thieves on the loose, and about one hundred — who is serving a sentence in places of deprivation of liberty. Of course, on the background of 3.5 thousand lawyers early 40-ies of XX century, these numbers are not large.

In this case, the thieves have not just become less: rapidly fading, those of them who life strictly followed the thieves ‘ code. More and more lawyers allow themselves to do business, and start a family. For example, the far East kingpin Evgeny Vasin (Jam) in the 90s, his title didn’t hurt to manage a huge organized crime community “Obshchak” and create things that are very far from the strict rules of the thieves.

In the same 90-e, by the way, thieves titles began to trade, albeit for a lot of money; there are lawyers, never in my life have not trampled the area. More than that: recently thieves title became possible to obtain almost Skype — in fact, why pack, if you have the video? Of course, those thieves who still honors the traditions, such innovations cause at least perplexity.

Appeared in the “underworld” and “secular” punishment — penalties. Now have committed minor misdemeanor lawyer is a humiliating slap in the face, which somehow undermine his credibility, can get away with a contribution in thieves ‘ obshchak. Against this background, the lawyers of the new generation, unlike their ancestors, have ceased to be proud of the shots behind bars: in prison they go extremely reluctantly.

overall, in recent years lawyers much ground, and strict adherence to the thieves ‘ code is becoming more of a feature of thieves old school. However, rigid regulations have made the lawyers who they are — the first persons of the criminal world. And when the thieves ‘ code for years, will finally sink into oblivion, there’s a good chance that the once mighty and influential thieves in law, for whom the honor was not an empty word, will be converted into ordinary bandits.