Criminal Record: Vladimir Putin’s relationship with the Russian mafia

While the criminal underworld is thriving in Europe nobody really paid much attention as the “Bratva” – various organised crime groups who originated in the former Soviet Union – rose to become the largest in the world.

When Vladimir Putin appeared on television surrounded by his silent stony-faced generals as he threatened to unleash terror on Ukraine I was reminded of a quote by Bill Browder – an anti-corruption campaigner and financier.

“Imagine that Russia is like The Sopranos. In The Sopranos you had the Philadelphia mafia, the New Jersey mafia, the Manhattan mafia and the Brooklyn mafia and then you had the head capo who is above all of them. Vladimir Putin is the head capo.”