The Russian Mafia has been around as long as the Soviet Union has been dismembered – some even argue before it’s demise. Supposedly one of the most powerful criminal organizations in modern history, the Russian Mafia has always been based on a strict code of dignity, respect, and honor. Even though Russian Mafia Bosses may not be portrayed in Martin Scorcese movies, or on the front page of the New York Times every second month, it does not mean that they aren’t heavily feared and respected amongst the global criminal community. Below is a list of some of the better known Russian Mafia Bosses:
- Vyacheslav “Yaponchik” Ivankov – One of the most powerful members of vor v zakone (thief in law) and Russian mafia in America. Ivankov Was known to have deep connections with Russian State Intelligence Organizations.
- Vladimir Kumarin – A Saint Petersburg Boss of the Tambov Gang criminal organization. He is a well known businessman, former Vice President of the Petersburg Fuel Company, and is alleged to have deep ties with Vladimir Putin.
- Viktor Anatolyevich Bout – Former Soviet Major for the GRU (Russian Intelligence) and major arms dealer. Nicknamed “The Merchant of Death” for privately supplying mass amounts of arms to the Taliban and African rebels during several civil wars.
- Sergei Mikhailov – A Russian businessman claimed to the be the head boss of the Solntsevskaya bravta (brotherhood from Solntsevo) crime family. Not known for following the traditional vor v zakone code, but a more westernized approach consider himself to be a business man rather than a thief in law.
- Movladi Atlangeriyev – Chechen mob boss and founder of the Lazanskaya crime family. Was considered to be one of the more popular crime bosses of the 1990’s and has been rumoured on several occasions to have cooperated with Russian Law and Security Services. Was kidnapped in January 2008 in Moscow and is still missing.