Tattoos are more than just body art to the Russians. They are a complicated language that is used in the criminal underworld and in the prison system and can symbolize many things. Some are given to symbolize rank and accomplishments within a criminal organization while others are given in prison and are symbols of rebellion, anarchy, and belief.
When a prisoner enters the Gulag or prison system their tattoos tell their history and where they fit in within the complicated rank system. For those who are initiated and understand the hidden language the entire life accomplishments of an individual may be learned without every asking a question.In Mafia Wars tattoos are just a collection in the Moscow Expansion but in the real world of the Russian criminal they are a language of their own. Here you will find the meanings of both the tattoos that are used in the game for a collection and a few others of note.
Prison Tattoos Collection
Other Russian Prisoner Tattoos
Barbed wire worn across the forehead signifies that the wearer has a life sentence.
Finger TattoosMost Russian criminals wear tattoos on their fingers. Usually the name of the wearer is spelled out in Cyrillic characters, but other symbols are also used.
EpauletsEpaulets are tattoos that cover the shoulder of the wearer and most often symbolize accomplishments outside of the law. Accomplishments may include skulls, fighting in the Russian Revolution, status before incarceration, SS insignia, and many others.
Birds Flying on the Horizon
This tattoo means simply “I was born free and should be free.”Russian tattoos serve the purpose of allowing all to know the history and attitudes of the wearer. They are painfully applied using ink concocted of urine, shampoo, and soot. Soot is often obtained by burning a boot heel. Infections are very common and death is not unheard of.