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Comrade Criminal: Russia's New Mafiya

NCJ Number
S Handelman
Date Published
408 pages
This book on organized crime in Russia is based on interviews with more than 150 mobsters, police, political crusaders, former KGB agents, and ordinary citizens.
Competing for the riches of the former Soviet Union, mafiya crime leaders and still-powerful former bureaucrats have undermined Russia's efforts at revolution and reform. The author traces the roots of the criminal underworld to the marginal elements of society that have existed in Russia for centuries, and that, for the last 20 years of Soviet rule, became an integral part of the black-market economy. Organized crime has flourished since the demise of Soviet communism, and Russian organized crime groups have exported to American and other foreign cities guns, drugs, and mob violence. The author emphasizes the detrimental effects crime has had on political and economic reforms in the former Soviet Union.