U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

"The Wolf Has a Hundred Paths..." The Organized Crime of St. Petersburg in the Framework of the Russian Culture of Criminal Justice (From Research Report Summaries 1999, P 52-57, 2000, Terttu Belgasem ed. -- See NCJ-187752)

NCJ Number
Johan Backman
Date Published
6 pages
This study attempts to identify pressures exerted on Finland by organized crime in Northwestern Russia.
The study focuses on the local phenomenon of organized crime in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast, as well as its connection to Finland. It views the situation from the perspective of the St. Petersburg Regional Organized Crime Combat Agency (RUBOP), a police force specializing in combating organized crime. The study investigates the concept of social danger as an element of an offense in Russian criminal justice and its influence on the definition of organized crime; Finland's potential for becoming part of the sphere of influence of Northwestern Russia's organized crime; and relations between law enforcement and the media, international and historical analogies for the development of Russian crime, and the general attitude towards the market economy among Russian officials. The study discloses that, among other things: (1) organized crime in Russia has developed from the violent period of extortion and racketeering, which peaked in 1992, to the legalization of criminal activities, money laundering, and lobbying for political support by the end of the 1990's; (2) the State has successfully endeavored to prevent the criminalization of the security business; (3) contract cheating between businesses, a new form of organized crime, has emerged along with the bolstering of crime control; and (4) contraband, including traffic in illegal drugs and illegal arms, is the most important form of organized crime in Northwestern Russia and St. Petersburg. The article concludes that efficient crime prevention cooperation between Finland and Russia and Finland's stable social situation has hindered the activity of Russian crime in Finland, although red tape has caused some problems on both sides.