Russian Crime

I have a long-standing interest in Russian criminal society.  Really, who doesn’t? It’s got everything:  a long history, tradition-bound elders confronting ruthless youth, violence, vast conspiracies, and deep ties to both local police and the national state.  If you want colorful villains, the mafiya are hard to beat.

The problem is how to learn more, especially if, like me, you don’t speak Russian.  Babelfish only gets you so far, and after a brief flowering of interest post-collapse-of-Communism, there isn’t much of an English-language bibliography.

Still, some sources exist.  One of the best is Mark Galeotti, an academic who seems to know more than anyone about the subject.  Unfortunately he hasn’t become a two-posts-a-day blogger.  But if you search out his byline, occasional interesting articles come along.  For example:  these RFE commentaries, or his infrequent but fascinating blog.  And I’m looking forward to his next book, POLITICS OF SECURITY IN MODERN RUSSIA, apparently due out next year.

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