Organized crimes mostly entail criminal organizations; they could be transnational, local, or could be deeply rooted in a region where they perform as enterprises. Organized crimes have set up cartels that illegally trade arms and ammunition and this has greatly compromised the security of Russians. This has made Russia become a brooding nest for terrorists and hard drugs traffickers. However, the Soviet Union has put all the needed measures to reduce the number of organized crimes in Russia with the help of the United States and the United Nations. This paper looks into organized criminal groups in Russia and investigates the effects they have on the economy.
Organized crimes have taken different names depending on the region but ‘Mafia’ is a universal name that relates to many organized groups in the world. Most of the regions have at one time had a mafia group; for instance, Sicily has had the Sicilian Mafia. The United States has not been left behind either; it has had the Italian American Mafia and the Mexican Mafias in North America (Albanese, 2000, p. 409). Russia has had Irish Mob which was considered a very strong cartel involved in drug trafficking.
Many organized groups have had a common thing that brings them together and most of them portray distorted psychologies and mindsets. Albanese (2000) confirms organized groups are brought about by activities or practices they share among themselves (p. 409). Some of the factors that have contributed towards the formation of organized crimes or groups are social factors. Organized crime groups need to have social control over their community or a region; the other factors that contribute to the formation of organized groups are economic issues (Albanese, 2000, p. 410). Most organized crimes need to have control of economies of the region or territory in which they are based; the control of economic activities could be attained through corruption, coercion, or through illegal praxis (Albanese, 2000, p. 410). The other factor that contributes to the formation of organized groups is political power. Organized groups are determined to attain power over a territory either through violence or corruption. The present organized groups are very different from traditional mafias since they are said to have an underground operation strategy and thus it becomes very hard for the government to control such formations. Presently, most of the Mafia groups have digressed from the traditional manners of management when the groups used to act against each other to work together (Albanese, 2000, p. 411). What used to be local groups have grown to interstate and international criminal organizations.
Russians have seen the best of organized groups that have defiantly destabilized the government, especially in the effort to make sure that these illicit factions are wiped out. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that there were more than 5,000 organized crimes in the country as of 1993 (Webster, 2000, p. 73). Organized groups in Russia came about after the fall of the great Soviet Union. During the fall and the transition period to the present Russian Federation, there were massive flaws in the economy and security operations; this greatly encouraged the start of organized groups. The transition period from one region to the other left Russians with no other alternative but to be subjected to harsh treatments of organized crimes (Webster, 2000, p. 73).
The current state of organized crimes in Russia could be traced to the 70s and up to the early 90s under the shadow of the USSR; as a result of the deteriorated state of the USSR’s economy, at that time there were the highest cases of organized crimes more than it is in the present Russian Federation. The old USSR had given the mandate to Mafias to operate and start protection groups that thrived under the large economy. Some of the factors in the USSR economy that contributed to the massive growth of organized crimes were the high cases of bureaucratic power from the rulers and adequate availability of illegal markets (Webster, 2000, p. 74). It is critically noted that more than half of the revenues raised by the Soviet Union government were from bribes or illegal markets.
Under the control of the organized groups, Russians have experienced the worst effect of organized crimes, especially in market reforms (Webster, 2000, p. 75). Organized crimes have tried as much as possible to reduce external competition from international investors. The locally organized crime groups were in the recent past convinced that shutting Russia from the rest of the world would have improved the state of their economy (Webster, 2000, p. 76). This form of notion had distracted the interaction between Russia and other states in the world. The other effect these groups have had on the Russian economy could be the use of traditional antics, which included violence and discrimination of the Russians, to run the groups. The groups used forceful extortion on new investors in Russia and this greatly discouraged investments and thus terribly hurt the economy (Webster, 2000, p. 77).
Another effect that the Russians have faced under organized groups is the creation of distorted codes such as the ‘code of thieves’ (Webster, 2000, p. 77). The code of conduct has greatly strengthened criminal groups such as the Urals. Huge amounts of money collected by the leaders of the cartels have contributed greatly to the current state of deteriorated security. As a result of the readily available illegal markets, there is access to state-of-the-art weapons and this has greatly ruined the security of the region. However, with the help of international bodies, Russia is recuperating from the effects inflicted by organized groups.
Just like in Russia; at least every country in the world has had an organized criminal group. The organized groups do not only affect the country in which they operate but also neighboring nations and partner states. The effect caused by organized crime groups are detrimental and only deliver short-lived benefits to their members.
Albanese, J. (2000). The causes of organized crime: do criminals organize around opportunities for crime or do criminal opportunities create new offenders? Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 16(4), 409-423.
Webster, W. H. (2000). Russian organized crime and corruption: Putin’s challenge. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies.