Russia: Crime Pays

The ‘war’ on terrorism may appear to have driven every other security concern off the international agenda, but it has underlined the extent to which future conflicts are as likely to be fought in poppy fields as battlefields, or by police officers as well as paratroopers.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Mark Galeotti

Director of the Organised Russian & Eurasian Crime Research Unity, Keele University

It is noteworthy that, in the preparations for President George Bush’s visit to Russia in May, the Kremlin quietly opened up the issue of Russian and post-Soviet organised crime as a topic for discussion.

On the surface this may seem surprising, both because of the Kremlin’s usual impatience with western concerns about the problem and also its apparent decline inside Russia. The indiscriminate turf wars and vendettas of the early and mid-1990s appear a thing of the past and the number of gangs continues to fall.

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