Vory v Zakone
|Boss:||Aleksander “The Terminator” Bilotkiy|
|Leaders:||Josif Radek, Sergei Malenkin|
|Operations:||Human trafficking, weapons trafficking, Matrix crime|
The Vory v Zakone are the local branch of an ethnic syndicate that originated in eastern Europe and Russia. Many of the leaders are Russian, and the syndicate speaks among themselves exclusively in Russian. Traditionally, the Vory v Zakone have recruited heavily from the Siberian, Steppe, and Eastern European populations of the cities in which they exist. In Seattle, they supplement these numbers with Inuit and Aleut members as well.
Vory v Zakone is actually a phrase meaning “Thieves Who Follow the Code.” The specific code has changed little over the last hundred years or so, but it remains secretive enough that no one can tell for certain. When a member of the Vory v Zakone achieves enough rank, they can become a vor (thief, pl vory).
Vory organizations are often referred to as Bratvas (Brigades). Usually there are four groups or cells that work together to create a single Vory organization in a city.
The Elite group is an administrative group that is headed up by a Pakhan (also known as a Boss or Krestnii Otets). This group manages all the other groups and makes sure that the whole city works efficiently as a whole. The Pakhan in Seattle is Aleksander “The Terminator” Bilotkiy, and he prefers to be referred to as the “Tsar.”
A Security group is headed up by a spy for the Pakhan called a Sovietnik (councilor), and the Sovietnik’s job is to make sure the organization keeps running, keeps peace between the organizations, and makes sure to pay off the right people. The Security group is in charge of security and intelligence for the organization. This group works closely with the Elite group and is in equal power with the Support group. The Sovietnik will often work as a sort of consigliere to the Pakhan, giving him advice and guidance based on the intelligence he has collected.
The Support group is led by another of the Pakhan’s spies, called the Obshchak. His job is to watch over the working unit collecting money while supervising their criminal activities. The Support group plans specific crimes for a specialized group or choose who carries out the operation. Working for the Obshchak is the Kassir (also known as a Kaznachey), who acts as a bookkeeper. The Kassir collects money from the brigadiers, and handles the flow of money on behalf of the Obshchak.
Finally the last cell is referred to as the Working Unit. There are four brigades who run criminal activity within the Working Unit. Each Brigade is lead by a Brigadier (also known as a Avtoritet “Authority”). The Working Unit only deals directly with the Support group. Within each brigade, a Brigadier gives orders to their Boeviks (warriors), who are vory, and Shestyorkas (Associates), who are not vory.
Generally, a brigade will have 5-6 Boeviks, who act as the muscle for the brigade. The Shestyorkas (also sometimes referred to as “the Six”) act as errand boys and lookouts for a brigade. These are usually the people that want to become vor, and are seeking a way to prove themselves and their value.
Like many criminal syndicates, the Vory v Zakone show off their deeds, associations, and rank with tattoos. There are literally thousands of possible tattoos that have been studied for decades. The specific tattoos used can vary from one prison or organization to another, but not substantially. With that said, there are enough options and meanings to create a dictionary (or three). They will not be detailed too much here.
One of the few rituals of the Vory v Zakone that is known fairly well is the initiation into the organization, also known as the “crowning” or “coronation.” When a Shestyorka has earned enough respect from the vor around him, he can be asked by the Pakhan or some other high-ranking member of the organization to become available for coronation. Generally this involves adding a tattoo (or multiple tattoos) in the form of eight-pointed stars (most commonly on the shoulders or chest).
Several high-ranking vor have been found to have tattoos of epaulets, multiple stars, and other militaristic insignia worked into their tattoos. This has led many to believe that the basic star tattoos are often expanded upon as the vor increases in rank. However, because of the insular nature of the Vory v Zakone,