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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Meanings of tattoo


Epaulette - Mark of distinction for some merit.
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Virgin Mary - Wearer has been a thief/criminal from their early days or protection from some misfortune.
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Stars have 2 meanings:
1.Otritsala.Who not working for administration of prison and does not comply with their laws.

2.Vor v zakone.

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Beetle symbolize a pickpocket. The acronym ZhUK (literally “beetle”) stands for Zhelayu Udachnykh Krazh (“May your theft be a success”). Tattooed on hands, as well as other parts of the body.
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Churches - The number of dome towers (cupolas) indicates either number of prison terms or number of years of the sentence.
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Tiger - Aggression towards police officers.
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Sailing Ship - Guest-thief.
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Spider within a Web - Can indicate a drug addiction. It can also mean that the wearer is a thief. If the spider is shown moving upwards it means the wearer is still an active criminal, if the spider is moving downwards it means that the wearer is intending to leave the thief’s way of life.
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Setting sun - This tattoo is usually accompanied by birds flying over the horizon. It represents freedom.
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Cat symbolizes luck and caution, and the acronym KOT-Korennoy Obitatel Turmi(literally “cat”) stands for Native Prison Inhabitant. The cat is also the symbol of a pickpocket. At one time, a bow tie was forcibly added to the picture of the cat’s head on pickpockets who had broken the thieves’ code and sided with the cops or prison authorities. Now, however, cats with bow ties have become common, and there is no stigma attached to the bow tie.

Cat with keys - Thief home.
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Crucifix - Criminal avtoritet.
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Eyes on the upper/middle torso they literally mean that the wearer is keeping their eyes open.


Eyes on lower backside - That is to show that the prisoner is used for sexual gratification.
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Stalin and Lenin Considered sacred, so inmates would tattoo the faces over their hearts and vital organs so guards would not hit or shoot them in that spot of the body. Nowadays these tattoos are rarely used.

Lenin is symbol of vor. Lenin is The leader of the October Revolution - Vozhd Oktiabrskoy Revolucii - vor.
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Stars on knees - It means you bow to no authority.
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Bells - Literally signifies that the wearer will serve his full given sentence, from “bell call to bell call”.
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Swastika/nazi symbols - are a sign of rebellion against Russian prison authority. Doesn’t literally mean that the wearer is a nazi sympathiser.
Runes - One who does not confess, also tattooed as sign of rebellion to authority, again not usually associated with the Nazi symbol.
SS - Sovranil Sovest' - Preserved the conscience.
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SER - Svoboda Eto Ray - Freedom Is Paradise.
SER in english is Sir.
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BARDAK - Knife, woman, drugs, alcohol etc. This is what is killing us.
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Bat - Night thief.
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Bull - Means cruelty and rage. Prisioners with this tattoo are bulls and fighters (who make the physical execution on the orders of the vor v zakone).
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MIR - In russian is peace or world but here MIR mean Menia Ispravit Rasstrel - Execution will reform me.
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BARS - Bey Aktiv Rezh Suk - Beat Active Cut Bitchs.
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Knife in shackles - Committed a crime in places of deprivation of liberty.
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Rose - Ruined youth.
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A monk writing in a book with a quill pen is a “scribe,” a criminal who is dexterous with a razor, knife, or a sharpened coin. Often, a pickpocket who is extremely skillful at surreptitiously slitting open pockets, handbags, etc.
In russian argot quill is knife,write is cut.
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The knife in the neck - Owner of tattoo someone cutted.
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Joker - Player of gambling games.
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WOLF - VOLK - Voru Otdishka Legavomu Krishka.I had many problems with the translation.VOLK is Thief's Break Heat's Done for or something like that.
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Manacles - One manacle 5 years of prison.
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Pirate - Robbery.
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rose-and-knife-tattoo

Rose and knife - Blood for treason.
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Sight tattoo

Sight - Shoot chekist, but dont miss.
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Scorpion+tattoo

On the right breast abbreviation Zoloto(Gold) - Zapomni, Odnazhdi Liudi Ostaviat Tebia Odnogo - Remember, one day people will leave you alone.

The meaning of the Scorpion tattoo was unknown till just recently, when a few meanings came to light in the comments section of the Russian blog. I decided to put them all together so people can pick the one that fits them best.

The meanings of the Scorpion:

1.Astrological Sign
2.Special Forces tattoo. If the claws are open then the owner has seen combat.
3.Did Box-time (time in the hole)
4.Drug-Addiction. Stinger up-means still using. Stinger down means "I quit".
5.Scorpion in optical sight - Owner has seen combat (Chechnya).

If more meanings come to light, I will add them here.


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LHVS - Legavim Huy Voram Soboda - To trashcops the dick, to thieves freedom.

Another meaning of LHVS it's just joke - Lublu Halvu Varenie Sahar - I like halva, marmalade, sugar.


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Theatrical masks - Before prison and after prison.


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Bear_tattoo


Bear - Medvezhatnik - Professional safecracker.
Medvezhatnik from word Mevded. Medved in russian is Bear. In russian argo Medved iz Safe.
Hi, my name is Natalia, I am 19 years old,


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65 коммент.:

simosl on July 26, 2009 at 6:40 AM said...

stars

Anonymous said...

Voru Otdishka Legavomu Krishka= Thief will get break when police officer will be death

Amanda on October 4, 2009 at 2:58 PM said...

I love this blog. It's absolutely amazing.

Anonymous said...

wat does it mean if my ucle has the sun over the horizon tatoo. has he been in jail??? he doesnt tel me anything

Фотографии тюремных наколок on October 18, 2009 at 9:41 AM said...

i don't know,you need ask you uncle

Anonymous said...

your uncle should have a cathedral if he was in jail .. the number of points represents his years there ..

Anonymous said...

Does the sun over the horizon have the word "CEBEP" underneath it?
because if it does it just means "north" meaning the person came from the north of russia which is known for being more hostile and violent than other areas and the person may have taken part in these less than legal acts.

Maria-Eulalia Bello on November 6, 2009 at 2:40 AM said...

Amazing post here. thank you for all these photos.

I never seen the joker tats. Very interesting.. the cat ones have an odd meaning too.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on November 6, 2009 at 10:25 AM said...

Tattoo CEBEP is one of most famous prison tattoo.

CEBEP mean north,north mean north of Russia,north of Russia is Siberia,Siberia in USSR is GULAG.

I saw tattoo like this with sun but УРАЛ(URAL).URAL is north too.

Anonymous said...

If tattoo has reaper with words underneath Я здесь и я жду (which translates to i'm here, i wait correct?), does that mean person is a killer or that they recognize that death is waiting to take them?

Also, how would you take the expression Не верь, не бойся, не проси

Russian Criminal Tattoo on December 5, 2009 at 2:11 AM said...

About "Я здесь и я жду" i don't know.
"Не верь, не бойся, не проси" - is Do not trust, do not be afraid, do not ask.Is

Anonymous said...

if i get the stars without being in a russian jail, would i be killed or beaten for not being honored to recieve them from a higher russian criminal? even if i get them to say that i don't beleive in the laws of society.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on March 15, 2010 at 1:06 PM said...

On russian blog in topic like this i have a lot of questions like your. I don't know what can happen.

Anonymous said...

Is possible to have more on the meanings of the Rings?

Thanks

Russian Criminal Tattoo on March 26, 2010 at 7:27 AM said...

Yes of course, a lot of meanings of rings.

Anonymous said...

u can be beating not from high russian criminal just some russian punk that bealive if you dont do your time you cant tatto it on you.
i have tatto of skulls its mean evrey skull that you kill someone and in russia i been fight with guys beacuse my tatto that made in prison

Anonymous said...

I have two stars on my shoulders and saw this summer a guy with two stars on shoulders,a church with sever towers on his back and a cross on his chest...I was afraid as shit...I think he's kill me if he saw my stars...

Anonymous said...

Stars mean different things. And are formed differently for their different purposes. A star that symbolizes that you are in Vor v zakone are 16 points. The Otritsala tattoos have only 8. Any member of the mafia or who has been in prison should recognize and count the points before they advance--especially if you have Vor v zakone stars on your chest and or knees. Also a clear point is that if you have Vor v zakone stars that you will also have them on your knees. Another member who has Otritsala stars would not advance to kill you. But possibly embrace you that you revolt against authority but that also would be addressed if you have the rose--signifies you have entered the mafia. So if you are truly concerned about your life might have considered to make sure you have the right stars on your chest/shoulders and that if you are approached that you know what they mean: against authority. As always be respectful to those who have stars on their chest and knees, especially if you clearily see any of the tattoos listed above- as they are not people to be reasoned with unless you know what you are doing.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on November 4, 2010 at 6:00 AM said...

What mafia? This is prison tattoos. Look at stars of Alexandr Emelyanenko, his stars with 16 points and he is not Vor v zakone.

SouthSeaCutthroat on December 17, 2010 at 10:36 PM said...

so what.. they're damn skinny annyway

Anonymous said...

only vor v zakone can get stars on his chest ant knees, its hard to earn these stars.if you have these stars you are an approved authority whitin vor v zakone. if you get these tattoos without permission of the vor v zakone, they would cut them out if you were in prison in russia. watch the movie Alix Lambert's the Mark of Cain

Russian Criminal Tattoo on January 12, 2011 at 7:03 AM said...

Nonsense

Anonymous said...

Who is Armen Kazaryan, nickname PZO, who was recently caught for medicare fraud. is he a vor??

Max on January 30, 2011 at 1:52 AM said...

A question to the site owner. First off, I find this all incredibly fascinating and I'd love to see a wiki of sorts on it.

But my question is, what tattoos were prominant, if any, during the mid 50's (around Stalin's death)? From what I can gather all I've seen are tattoos of Stalin, Tigers, and Stars. Would you happen to know if there are any more?

Also, I need more definitions! I want to learn more.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on January 30, 2011 at 10:37 AM said...

Armen Kazaryan is vor v zakone.


2Max:

Tattoos of Stalin's times are rares. In future more tattoos.

Anonymous said...

what did criminals (vors) in jail do to rapists and those that got raped? were the rapists killed or was everyone just scared of them.....

in the vor v zakone laws it says that a vor should not have a family of his own besides his birth family. how come yaponchik had a wife?? does that mean he is not a vor. what happens if a vor breaks a rule ..?

Russian Criminal Tattoo on February 13, 2011 at 6:27 AM said...

rapists live in a jail in the last stage of the hierarchy. but not all.

now another times, not as in USSR. after capitalizm came almost all rules are broke. not many vors live with vor's rules. many vors now are businessmans.

Dre said...

*VOLK - Voru Otdishka Legavomu Krishka.I had many problems with the translation

Proverb:
Voru Otdishka - Means Vor(thief) can get a breather or relax
Legavomu Krishka - Lawobieder or authority is dead. krishka means lid so trying to say he has been covered or as we would say burried.
So basically phrase translates to Thief can take a breather because authority isn't

Anonymous said...

I am what is known as a "serious risk to society" in wonderful Blighty. I am amused by this topic. I have various tattoos, prison and otherwise. Dare anyone come carve em off me. My stomping ground stretches from Here to Odessa.

Anonymous said...

Anon internet threat bro! I knew you'd show up!

Anonymous said...

Yea he is a Vor that was approved by svo RAF

russianprincess on August 18, 2012 at 7:29 PM said...

Interesting thread....

Ari on August 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM said...

Some us army convicts wear oritsala as well. They have same meaning and worn on knees and shoulders. I earned my oritsala after serving four years with no human contact in American army prison. We take our code in prison from original vorovskoi Mir, but can marry and own things.

Ari on August 19, 2012 at 8:51 PM said...

In the American army prison convicts of rank wear oritsala also, on shoulders and knees. Scorpions for us mean fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. I have oritsala from serving four years no human contact for beating a cop. We modeled our code from vorovskoi mir, excepting that we may marry upon retirement from criminal life and own property. Russian mafiya is very real, by the way. But they are not animals as some people would have us believe. - have known several vori, none of.which had a problem with my tattoos, and each treated me with the respect one man shows another. If you try toact tough Guy, anyone will test you.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on August 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM said...

I need translate this comments in russian and post to russian blog.

Anonymous said...

So can I get the stars on my knees if im against authority? If so how many points is ok for that??

Russian Criminal Tattoo on October 4, 2012 at 3:05 AM said...

I don't know

Anonymous said...

Armen Kazaryan aka Pzo is an Armenian vor v zakone.

Thomas Anastasiadis on October 30, 2012 at 3:21 AM said...

Hey bratouxa i want to ask you about the cross what it means and why they wear that at their finger

Russian Criminal Tattoo on October 31, 2012 at 4:48 AM said...

meaning of cross on finger i don't know.

Nikolay Xander Vitalij said...

i was born in colony 15 1986r. i was realesed 1990. when i was 18 i have alredi spent 8 years, in juvinile age 14 i was sendt to butirka (as an underaged) where i got my stars, (i will NOT say what they means. NO outsider can take these tattoo. and the information in internett is wrong. ALOT of meanings are false.

i was sendt from youth camp to butirka becouse agresson against authority and other russian shitkids and sukas who talk big and worked with prison authoritys.

i was in a libary and saw the book criminal tattoos.
HAHAA and the guy who wrote the book has been joked with!

these tattoos are NOT mafia tattoos. But some old mafiosos have thieves tattoo's, becouse of longer prison terms.

its organizing tattoos to thiefs in prison, in an orginazing structure where we getting tattoos from achievements and political status in the "thieves world" and who you are as a person. and what youre job in prison is. in cell pressure these tattoos can save your life from other aggressive prisoners

greeting from a norwegian/russian Thief in law

Anonymous said...

^^^^ legend^^^^

Anonymous said...

What about a sicle and hammer on both knees?

Russian Criminal Tattoo on February 12, 2013 at 7:17 AM said...

I never saw this tattoos on knees

Anonymous said...

it says SVOBODA which means freedom, but obv in russian letters

Anonymous said...

You really don't know shit about these tattoos. Let's see u have a sit done with some of my family and let them show u there tattoos and then u tell them what they mean and let's see how long Befor u get stabbed. If you ask me your insulting there wearers of these tattoos by trying to act like you know about them.

Anonymous said...

Ya b/c you haven't done time in a russian prison. I bet 100 you would have the eyes on your lower back within the first week.

Anonymous said...

Had a member of the family who did time Ukraine. Im originally from Odessa now live in Brooklyn. Been looking to get a tattoo to remind me of my background. Not affiliated with any Russian crime family in here but do a lot of business with others. Never did any time. I be dying to get a small orthodox church on my back but not trying to disrespect believes of people who really live by these laws... Not trying to do Kreml, but a small church like u c outside of big cities... What you think would be appropriate or may be something added to make sure Im not going to be looked by VOR as a punk.
Btw whoever said they so skiny... U better stay away from them skiny dudes cause they come close and take it personal.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me the meaning of SLON (elephant)

Russian Criminal Tattoo on June 23, 2013 at 3:46 AM said...

SLON - Smert Legavim Ot Nozha - Death to cops by knife or something like that.

Anonymous said...

The meanings of the tattoos are wrong from this blog few are right. The people I know would never tell someone who has not earned his own if u get me. I showed one the meanings. He did time in the shortest Russian prison there was he won't even repeat the name of the prison but he would say it was deep in the coldest parts u could imagine and he laughed at these meanings some. He had one or two but told me because I did time for allegedly selling 100 vw rolls. And had the book thrown at me five years because it was during the zero tolerance time for ecstasy but he told me not to repeat what I was told

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and his family is from Russia and i am covered in tattoos..yes I've been to prison a fare share, some of my tattoos are jail tattoos others are too remember people. That's why his family tends to hate me, lol they don't understand how in America we make are own translations
-Kot

Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated from other cultures Underworld's ...diff ppl and diff meaning but we are still "sons of war" .
I'm chicano and we live by a diff lifestyle and meaning with our tatoos, except in my culture! Wearing a tattoo that symbolizing a meaning and you have no respect or have a CHAQUETA "jacket or record" ...is mainly punishable by death depending on the tattoo and gang its from, only time we cutt off a tattoo besides that reason is if you got "X" out.. russians have church or towers signifies your time in prison, we use gaurd towers or a clock with no hands etc.. but anyways Iove to read about other criminal cultures.

Первыми падают on October 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM said...

I have always wanted a black rose on the back of my left hand with Здесь покоится упал above and рука Бога below

Anonymous said...

Previous comment about American Army criminals is fairly accurate. Where he is mistaken is that, where these convicts respect and have code similar to thieves code, it is not modeled after thieves code. Tattoos are used to symbolize rank, role, and your "story." Some US Army convicts wear five point stars, some eight point. Never sixteen. Also no roses, churches, or crosses. Only similarities are scorpion and stars. American stars came from mocking the authority of army generals, and later became a general sign of anti authoritarian fortitude. Also, these guys must all have been combat veterans, as requirement. Would be interesting to hear the opinion of Russian convicts about these guys though.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on March 17, 2014 at 5:25 AM said...

about US army tattoos i need some big article with photos. i will translate it and post on russian blog.

Michał Ryczkowski on March 17, 2014 at 3:07 PM said...

What does it eyes on the loins mean?

Anonymous said...

Dont get russian tattoos if ur not russian n not a russian crimal ull buy big time for it.

Russian Criminal Tattoo on April 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM said...

2Michał Ryczkowski:

i don't know

Anonymous said...

I have 16 point stars on my knees. Knew the meaning but didn't know it was tied to vor. I'm 1st gen Ukrainian American. Did fair share of time? Can my knees be taken as disrespect to vor?

Anonymous said...

What If you only have 16 point stars on your knees but not your chest? Does.that mean they are vor?

Anonymous said...

My cousin is from romania and has one star on his knee 5 cross his heart and one on his throat. With a mary holding a cross on his back. Hes been in jail for 10 yrs justgot home to the usa . What do his tattoos mean im scared to ask...

Anonymous said...

I would be but dont sweat it. If u have time to post then they havent gotten you already..

Anonymous said...

I am from Odessa. By the law VOR cannot take pictures of his tattoos and give intevues to anybody, even though when he is confronted by cops he suppose to identify himself by saying that he is a VOR. If u have stars on your knees and u cooperate with any authority might get u into gryz 200 status. As well as initial pleasing them on your knees.

Anonymous said...

‎вы должны показать уважение сука!!!!

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