Thieves in law in Russia: number, biography, photo

How many thieves in law in Russia? This question interests not only domestic newspapers and online publications, but also foreign ones. Of course, nobody knows the exact number. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, today there are 184 people in our country who have the status of a thief in law. The heroes of the world of thieves existed in parallel with the history of the country.

Exclusively Russian concept

With the beginning of perestroika, a new life began for the old thieves - a showdown, arrows, meetings and criminal wars for the redistribution of the spheres of influence of the new Russia. Having managed to survive in the place where not one large businessman went bankrupt, the old guard of thieves in law in Russia retained not only the “scepter and crown”, but also power over the most important financial areas of the country's life.

thieves in law in Russia

The names of many of the heroes of the thieves' life of past years can be found in the Forbes list, and their names are increasingly associated with the word “power”.So who are they, Russian authorities, whose faces, despite the closeness of the clan, still appear on the expanses of Runet and the pages of newspapers? Who is the main "thief in law" of Russia? And what does the term “in law” mean in general? Let's sort everything in order.

"Thief in law" - the highest criminal suit

According to the traditions of the underworld, only those who had repeated convictions for the “right” articles and won authority from their fellow tribesmen can be ranked as the highest league of “thieves in law”. Recently, however, a new concept has appeared in the criminal environment - “oranges”. So they called the rich and influential people, but who did not have prisoners behind their backs and bought the “coronation” for money.

Created in the thirties of the last century, the caste of “legalists”, unlike other criminal communities and groups, is built on the principle of equality of its members and strict observance of the “thieves' code”. The supreme authority of such a community is a thieves 'meeting, decisive complaints and complaints from representatives of the underworld (the so-called analysis of “presenting”, “thieves' runs”, “detaining”), disposing of the “common” (money belonging to all members of the criminal community) with similar organizations at home and many thieves in law in Russia

The purpose of "looking" in places of deprivation of liberty is the subordination of the authority and order of all who are serving a sentence. For this, whip and gingerbread are used. Those who were not able to bribe or win over to their side are threatened, and often physical measures are applied to them.

Despite the endless internecine war among thieves in law, in Russia it is this caste that ensures the stability of the criminal world and coordinates all the movements of organized crime. The influence of a small group of "lawyers" (up to 15 people) applies to the economic and political processes in the country.

History of

The emergence in the thirties of the twentieth century, thieves in law in Russia provoked the policies of the young Soviet government. Against the background of the intensification of the fight against the criminal world, Cheka pursued a policy of collectivization and dispossession, the number of those dissatisfied with the new order grew, which inevitably led to the creation of opposing non-political forces in the form of “lawyers” who declared themselves guards of the thieves' traditions of Czarist Russia.

A “code of a thief” was developed, based on the complete rejection of generally accepted norms of morality and the foundations of Soviet society.So, the thief in the law was “zapadlo” not only to have children and a family, but even to maintain long-term love affairs. The ban was also imposed on any assistance to state bodies - from helping to solve a crime to participating in peaceful gatherings and festive demonstrations.

Top thieves in law

In fact, it is difficult to build influential kings of the underworld like the songs on the M1 charts. It is almost impossible to distinguish between their spheres of influence and to designate who is the most important. It is not easy to find a photo of thieves in law in Russia, this closed group does not like to show off their lives.

But let's name the most famous names. The table below provides a list of thieves in law in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Full Name


Year and place of coronation

Babushkin Vladimir Petrovich

Vaska Brilliant

1950 (Karlag, Kazakhstan)

Ershov Alexander Alekseevich


1998 (Moscow, Russia)

Aslan Usoyan

Ded Hasan

1965 (Ural)

Tariel Guramovich Oniani


1979 (Georgia)

Kalashov Zakhariy Knyazevich

Shakro Young

1971 (Tbilisi)

Sergey Ivanovich Lysenko

Lera Sumy

1993 (Sumy)

Mikhailov Gennady Alexandrovich


1987 (Chelyabinsk)

The first Russian "lawyer" Vanka Cain

Ivan Osipov, who received the nickname, or, as it is called in the underworld, Cain “drove”, began his thieving career at the age of thirteen. Fleeing, he robbed his master and joined the gangs of the lower reaches of the Volga.

For a long time he was a member of a criminal group led by Mishka Dawn, then moved to “solo” robberies. A favorite place of his criminal fishing was the Makaryevskaya Fair, a notorious place on the Volga River.list of thieves in law in Russia

Ivan received his nickname in 1741, appearing in Sysknaya order of the city of Moscow and offering himself as an informant gendarmerie. Vanka Cain skillfully combined two of his uneasy activities — he continued his robber raids, while simultaneously handing over petty thieves to the police. He skillfully hid the representatives of the thieves ’elite by opening a gambling house to launder illegal money.

Despite the title of informer of the detective order received from the tsarist gendarmerie, Vanka Cain had a real criminal “raspberry” under the wing: thieves, robbers and fraudsters of all stripes, whose number in the capital of tsarist Russia only increased thanks to him.

Cain was defeated and the “raspberry” could be dispersed only with the help of regular troops, Major General Ushakov, who initiated the creation of a special commission to consider the case of Vanka. In 1755, Ivan Osipov was sentenced to death, which, however, was replaced by corporal punishment and exile. During the hard labor, Ivan did not last long and died about a year or two after his conviction.

Russian people tend to romanticize criminals. So the personality of Vanka Cain acquired over the years a romantic aura. His name has become a symbol of a young bold man, a fighter against injustice.

Lenya McIntosh - "authority" and a writer

Leonid Bilunov, better known as Lenya Mackintosh, was born in 1949 in a small town near Kiev with the poetic name Belaya Tserkov. Mother alone pulled Lenya and younger brother, and he so wanted delicious chocolates, new boots and to do something great.

And Lenya did become famous. Having served a total of 4 convictions (robbery, robbery, hooliganism, fraud and extortion) for about 15 years, he headed the crime of the Lyubertsy district of Moscow.

The main thief in law in Russia who

And then awareness came. Awareness of why and why he lives his life.I wanted to coolly change the vector of their activities, and possibly warn others. Leonid leaves the country. For some time he lives in Cyprus, then in Hungary. Finally, she finds a “new self” on the Cote d'Azur.

Now Bilunov lives in France and cooperates with international banks on doing business in Russia. Free time the former criminal authority devoted literature. Yes, not simple. He began writing the biography of a thief in law in Russia. Who better to tell about the great Macintosh, if not Leonid himself? From his pen came a trilogy of memoirs entitled "Three Lives". Beautifully avoiding the slippery parts of his biography, Lenya McIntosh managed to truly "drown" all those who stood in the way of the former "lawyer". Do not forget Bilunov bestow a couple of "compliments" and Russian law enforcement officers. By the way, according to unofficial data of these law enforcement officers, dear comrade Bilunov today protects the "commonwealth" of Russian colleagues.

photos of thieves in law russia

Modern order

Capitalist foundations touched the criminal environment. Less and less of today's thieves in law in Russia adhere to the thieves' code of honor. All attracts luxury, money, power.Less remains of the old order. This inevitably provokes conflicts between the old guard and the youth.

Russian thieves biographiesOld-timers of the underworld are trying not to lose the reins of government and take control of a young tribe.

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