The native organised crime groups in Moscow largely fall under two types; the Bratva, or Russian mafia; and the gopniks, or street gangs.
Since the 1980s, the Russian mafia has been among the most powerful, dangerous and feared criminal organisations in the world, and today it remains among the world’s largest, deadliest and most powerful crime syndicates. The level of political corruption and arms sales in post-Soviet Russia allowed for massive expansion and incorporation of many government officials into the crime syndicates. At the time almost every business in Russia, from curbside vendors to huge oil and gas companies, made payments to organised crime groups for protection (known as krysha). Businessmen said that they needed the krysha because the laws and the court system were not functioning properly in Russia. Many also turned to the red krysha, the corrupt police who doubled as a paid protection racket.
Following the Soviet collapse the Russian mafia internationalised and currently spans the world, allegedly having influence in over 50 countries. They have links with the American mafia and Colombian drug cartels. According to the FBI they also have alliances with the Italian Camorra.
Upon the birth of the ASU, the Ascendancy’s indirect acceptance of the Russian mafia and other crime organisations has always been on the understanding that it stays below the radar, for it forms a mutually beneficial relationship on both sides. The purest form of capitalism. As such, crime organisations have continued to gain strength and legitimacy in Custody life.
Organisation is loose, meaning that arresting or taking out a mafia boss is like little more than cutting the head off a hydra. There is not a clearly defined, top-down hierarchy as with other crime groups around the world. Members do not hold titles so much as they perform roles.
- Elite group – led by a Pakhan (“Boss”) who is involved in management, organisation, and ideology. This is the highest group that controls both the support and security groups.
- Security group (Sovietnik) – led by one of Pakhan’s spies. His job is to make sure the organisation keeps running, keeps the peace between the organisations and other criminal groups, and is paying off the right people. This group works with the Elite group and is equal in power with the Support groups. It is in charge of security and intelligence.
- Support group (Obshchak) – led by one of Pakhan’s spies. His job is to watch over the working unit, and collect money while supervising their criminal activities. This group works with the Elite group and is equal in power with the Security group. They plan a specific crime for a specialised group or choose who carries out the operation.
- Working Unit – There are four Brigadiers running criminal activity in the working unit, each controlling a Brigade. This is the lowest group working with only the Support group. The group is involved in burglaries, prostitution, extortion, street gangs, and other crimes. Street operators are not privy to the identity of their leadership. Strategy and planning is done only at the top echelon in order to minimise the risk of detection.
- Pakhan – also called Boss, Krestniy Otets, Vor, Papa, or Avtoritet. The Pakhan controls four criminal cells in the working unit through an intermediary called a “Brigadier.”
- Seconds – There are two seconds, or spies, tasked with watching over the action of the Brigadiers in order to ensure loyalty and that none becomes too powerful. The two groups are the Sovietnik (“Support Group”) and Obshchak (“Security Group”).
- Derzhatel Obshchaka – the bookkeeper, collects money from Brigadiers and bribes the government with Obshchak (money intended for use in the interests of the group).
- Brigadier – also called Avtoritet (“Authority”), is akin to a captain in charge of a small group of men in the Working Unit. He gives out jobs to Boyeviks (“Warriors”) and pays tribute to Pakhan. He runs a crew which is called a “Brigade.” A Brigade is made up of 5–6 Patsanov or Brodyag (“Soldiers”).
- Bratok – also called Patsan or Brodyaga, works for a Brigadier having a special criminal activity to run. A Boyevik is in charge of recruiting new soldiers and associates, in addition to paying tribute to his Brigadier. Boyeviks also make up the main strike force of a brigade.
- Shestyorka – an associate to the organisation, also called the “six.” He is an errand boy for the organisation and is the lowest rank in the Russian mafia. The “Sixes” are assigned to “Avtorityets” for support. They also provide intelligence. Usually they stay out of the main action, although there might be exceptions depending on circumstances. During a meeting the Shestyorkas perform security functions. It is a temporary position and an individual either makes it into the Vor-world or is cast aside. As they are earning their respect and trust in Bratva, they may be performing roles of the regular Boyeviks or Byki depending on the necessities and patronage of their Brigadier or Avtorityet.
- Vor – an honorary title. The honour of becoming a Vor is given only when the recruit shows considerable leadership skills, personal ability, intellect, and charisma. A Pakhan or another high-ranking member of an organisation can decide if the recruit will receive such a title.
The gangs who rule the streets in poorer neighbourhoods, often young men and women branded as thugs. They are usually stereotyped as being prone to substance and alcohol abuse, crime and hooliganism.
Important Russian Families
|Kolomov Family||Functional, but very weakened. Losing territory and power.||?||Drug sales, blackmail, extortion, kidnapping, stolen merchandise, human trafficking||N/A||Currently involved in a blood vendetta with Mordinov and Stoya.|
|Mordinov Family||Functional||Rodian Mordvinov, Roman Mordvinov (2nd)||Drug sales, blackmail, extortion, kidnapping, stolen merchandise||Bas *(deceased), Yuri||Currently allied with Stoya. Co-opted Yuri to get Vlad’s secret to the blue pills.|
|Perov Family||Disbanded, territories consolidated mostly by Stoya and Mordvinov (and others)||Vladimir Perov (deceased)||Drug manufacturing (power based) and sales, blackmail, extortion||Vladimir, Yuri||When Vlad was killed by CCDPD his organization was torn apart by power struggles. Perov territories were seized by other groups and old members joined other groups, left the city or the work, or were put down.|
|Solntsevskaya Bratva||Elimiated, territories absorbed into Kolomov primarily, and others||N/A||Drug sales, blackmail, extortion, kidnapping, stolen merchandise, human trafficking||Mikhail||During the post USSR era until formation of ASU, they were the most powerful organized crime group in the Russian federation. Mikhail’s father was muscle for Solntsevskaya Bratva before it was eliminated. Kolomov was responsible for their demise.|
|Stoya Family||Functional||?||Drug sales, blackmail, extortion, kidnapping, stolen merchandise, human trafficking||N/A||Currently allied with Mordvinov, unofficial feud with Kolomov|
|Vasiliev Family||Functional||Konstantin Vasiliev||Money laundering, fraud, racketeering, gambling, money lending, drugs||Sofia Vasilieva||Family owns the casino Nebesa’s Gate|
* Bas and Roman became friends when Bas (as part of a Gopnik gang hired by Mordvinov as muscle) saved Roman’s life during a botched deal. (Kolomov was determined to be the source, resulting in blood vendetta.) This was the first time he channeled. He quickly rose in the ranks, finding a place for his brother among them too. He served as Roman’s right hand man until paranoia led to a public assault on CCDPD officer Ivan Sarkozy, Zoya Bocharov, and other bystanders in Izmailovsky Market. He was cut loose and soon after was hunted down by the Archangels and killed by Jacinda Cross.
Other Crime Organisations Operating in Moscow
|The Syndicate||Functional||Yun Kao (deceased)|
|Facilitates illegal activities of DI crime groups and those who purchase their services||Yun Kao (deceased), Ivan|
|Originally functioned as a collection of dirty cops that facilitate illegal activities for various crime families and other rich and powerful people who need favors. See: Syndicate. Now is an expansion of Singapore organized crime.|
|Edenokōji-gumi (Yakuza)||Functional||?||Trafficking black market goods, being a bridge between other organized crime groups||This is a burgeoning group and one of the first to operate independently outside Japan. See: Yakuza|
Other Important Characters
|Ryker Petrović||CCD spy with direct ties to Ascendancy’s intelligence.||He has brokered deals with the Yakuza, Syndicate and American cartels for the purposes of reporting on their dealings back to the Custody.|
|Adrian Kane||Self-serving||A Moscow businessman whose legitimate businesses are often used for shipping, storage, and clean up by the Yakuza.|
|Korii-Haruto||Defected Korii-kai (Yakuza)||On the run from the Korii-kai who demand payment with his life as retribution for the destruction of a Tokyo city building. Currently under Edenokōji-gumi protection|
|Korii-Kiyohito||Korii-kai (Yakuza)||Sent to Moscow to find Haruto|
|Zixin Kao||Syndicate||Eliminated old Syndicate leadership, and has taken over control|
|Kōta||Atharim||A procurer of illegal and exotic animals often purchased by members of the Yakuza|
Kallisti: A burlesque house in the Red Light district often frequented by prominent members of crime organisations, but has no affiliation.
The Hole: Dive bar used frequently by the Yakuza to conduct business with the Russians.
Nebesa’s Gate: A casino on New Arbat Street, in the heart of Moscow City. Owned by the Vasiliev Family.