Russian Criminal Tattoo
Russian criminal tattoo are incredibly interesting in both their symbolism and their honor system. Here are the different aspects to a Russian criminal tattoo:
Usually a new recruit to a gang or organization will receive an initiation tattoo. This tattoo will be placed on the chest, and sometimes may incorporate a rose. The Russian Mafia was particularly known for using the rose tattoo on the chest.
2. Phony tattoo.
Within the Russian criminal tattoo world, if one is found to be wearing an unearned or "phony" tattoo, that is one which the wearer got inked on to try to pose as a criminal or someone who supposedly earned certain ranks, then severe punishment was inflicted on the wearer. Even death was seen as verifiable form of punishment to posers who went around adoring criminal tats.
Also, if one chose to get out of an organization, he would have to painfully remove his tattoo through a process consisting of magnesium powder application which would dissolve the skin, and hence, remove the tattoo.
3. Punishment Tattoos.
Not all Russian criminal tattoos are worn voluntarily. Some criminals have the ink forced upon them. These criminals will have committed some wrong in the eyes of the Russian underworld. Not paying debts, performing disservice to an organization, and breaking the criminal code can all result in forced ink.
These punishment tattoos often take the form of sexual explicit designs, aimed at embarrassing the wearer. Many of the forehead tattoos seen in the Russian criminal underworld were forced ink, which were used to warn others about that persons connections, or simply were a harsh way of embarrassing that individual through ethnic or sexual slants.
By Chess McDoogle