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Every time I watch the movie Eastern Promises or see and flip through one of the various Russian Criminal Tattoo books (Volume I, Volume II, or the newer one Volume III) I am reminded of the beauty, significances, true tattoo stories, and rawness of these tattoos. There's a neighborhood in San Francisco were I used to spend some time in regularly drinking coffee and eating pastries when on some lucky occasions I would get to bear witness to one or some of these historically rich tattoos. On only a few occasions the individuals would see me checking out there tattoos and would notice mine so conversations would follow or they would see me looking at theirs notice mine and give me a nod. The few stories I've gotten to hear were amazing and I can only imagine they were censored for my ears.

The combinations of religious and spiritual imagery mixed with deeper unique meanings I can never get enough of. So this thread is a place to share your Russian Tattoo Designs, pictures, and stories. I have attached some images I got off of the internet because I have never felt right asking those I've seen with these tattoos for pictures, go figure. Thanks!

Here are some other threads that may perk your interest if you like this one:

Old Tattoo Designs

Tattoo Definitions

Was tattooing as popular 100 years ago?

Religious and Spiritual Tattoos

What tattoo designs can you never see enough of?

Tattooers Reference Libraries

Visual Tattoo Opinions

Stigmas?

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There was/is a documentary on Russian Criminal Tattoos on netflix, the guy that does the Criminal Encyclopedias is involved (maybe directed it), I didn't see it all, but I did see that he gets a phone call from the authorities when a tattooed criminal dies, he and his wife go to inspect the body, if they see a tattoo that interests them on the dead prisioner, they cut it off the body. The tattooed skin is framed on their walls. Ha, almost makes me wonder if the criminals or the author is more "hard".

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A great fucking documentary (besides Mark of Cain) is Blatnoi Mir. Nearly fucking IMPOSSIBLE to see anywhere. At least in the internet.

01blatnoi_mir.jpg

Illume

It has one of the most depressing scenes I have seen. A young man, maybe in his 23 or something like that is sentenced in the Island Prison for the rest of his life. He, as I gather all the other inmates when convicted there, get to spend one day with someone and then they dont see ANYONE but the guards and maybe other inmates ever again.

The young man spends the day with his mom and when she has to go and they hug, fucking christ... if you ever have searched for visual represantation for the saying

They never wanted to let go

THAT is it. Fuck me, I cried like a little child, but I was older so I cried with more memories and feelings.

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that's a crazy panther in your 2nd post lochlan. Fucking gnarly bear-panther-beast! I'm normally not a big religious tattoo person either but some of those religious tattoos are great.

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There was/is a documentary on Russian Criminal Tattoos on netflix, the guy that does the Criminal Encyclopedias is involved (maybe directed it), I didn't see it all, but I did see that he gets a phone call from the authorities when a tattooed criminal dies, he and his wife go to inspect the body, if they see a tattoo that interests them on the dead prisioner, they cut it off the body. The tattooed skin is framed on their walls. Ha, almost makes me wonder if the criminals or the author is more "hard".

Just finished watching this, thanks for the lead. Has anyone else seen this? For those on Netflix you can watch it instantly right now.

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I have a promotional poster for the books that i have never seen another one of. It was pulled off a pub wall for me by a pal who was traveling around england. its framed above my station. i'll get a pic of it for you Lochian, you'll dig it.

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I have a promotional poster for the books that i have never seen another one of. It was pulled off a pub wall for me by a pal who was traveling around england. its framed above my station. i'll get a pic of it for you Lochian, you'll dig it.

Would be stoked to see it, thanks!

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There is a good Russian tattoo book in the shops at the moment i cant remember what its called as it got damaged in my shop fire, when i get time ill give it a scrub and post the name, it was from boarders the uk book shop!

It had photos of woman covered in prison tats seemingly happy to be naked with one arm slung over there mates shoulder havin fag lol.

And hard as f^*k by the looks of it.

i love the russian red square buildings tattoos ! not sure what the proper name for them is ?????????

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I have a modification of one of the designs from the 3rd encyclopedia - done in color and removed the skull and crossbones:

Photo128.jpg

done by Josh Lucy somewhere in Ohio

I also have a sort of bizarre anti Stalin piece from Tilt's book

I love russian stuff

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there's a great book that talks also about russian tattoos.

it's called SIBERIAN EDUCATION and it's the true life ofthe writer Nicolai Lilin.

he's also a tattooer specialized in russian tattoos.

his book willbecome a movie soon

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Found a documentery on youtube, the guy that uploaded it doesn't have the first part so it starts with 2. If you have time, its a good watch. Little bit on the long side but time just flys by.

Yeah, ok so turns out its the mark of cain.... found the first part.

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Any idea where one might find this?

No, sorry. I saw it from TV here in Finland, and I think it has been shown only once, like 4-5 years ago

And the documentary posted above is Mark of Cain, if anyone is wondering

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bringing this back from the proverbial grave. I notice there is a russian criminal encylopedia which has the same cover as volume 1 but is 4 + times the cost. Amazon.com: Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia (9783882439205): Danzig Baldaev, Sergei Vasiliev, Alexei Plutser-Sarno: Books

conversely you can get all 3 volumes for $65 so I wonderwhat the difference is?

The image of the skull, crown on the first book is very powerful. I am drawn to this image big time.

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