Russian Mafia, often termed as Bratva meaning brotherhood, refers to the organized criminal group prevailing in Russia. After the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, these groups gained power. Now they exist in every sector of the Russian society.
Russian mafia has been involved in various illegal and criminal activities related to money laundering, oil trade and smuggling of weapons.
Russian mafia tattoos are widely known. These tattoos represent the person's rank in mafia, the sins committed, the number of murdering, and the prison sentences etc. A new person in mafia is given a tattoo of a rose on his chest; and with advancement in each rank, different tattoos are added to it. There are many types of tattoos and only the mafia people know of its original meaning.
Russian mafia is said to be the toughest and dangerous mafia group of all. It has many gangs like the Solntsevskaya bratva which is the most powerful and dangerous crime groups of all. Another strong mafia group was the Dolgoprudnenskaya. It was the largest and most influential crime group of Russia.
Russian mafia's oldest and most important group was the Izmaylovskaya. It also existed in various other places namely Paris, Berlin, Miami, New York City, Toronto and Tel Aviv. This group was divided into two sub-groups Izmailovskaya and Gol'yanovskaya. These groups strictly obeyed the internal discipline and followed the quasi-military ranks. They engaged in extortions, murder-for-hire, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.
Obshina group or as commonly known as the Chechen mafia was a dangerous paramilitary mafia group.
Some other notable mafia groups are the Orekhovskaya, the Tambov and the Potato Bag group.