Last week, on November 10, Russia celebrated the Day of the employee of the internal affairs bodies, which for many of our compatriots still retains its true name - the Day of the Soviet Militia. Alas, with the collapse of the USSR, law enforcement agencies ceased to be Soviet, and then completely turned from militia into police. However, the name is not the point ...
Today we will talk about the period that lies between these two events and to this day is the subject of fierce disputes and various speculations - about the so-called "dashing 90s". It will be about the time when our country and, in particular, those who were obliged to defend law and order in it, faced an unprecedented increase in crime, primarily organized. And the main question to which we will try to find an answer is whether it was possible to prevent the bandit riot, which cost tens of thousands of people lives and caused damage to our state, the consequences of which are felt to this day?
Born by "perestroika" ...
Subsequently, this time will receive different names - "dashing 90s", "criminal revolution" and so on. I must say that most of these terms are rather dubious. The processes of rapid criminalization of society began in the last years of the existence of the Soviet Union, at the time, in fact, and pushed the country of "perestroika" to banditry. And they did not end with the onset of the new millennium - this, alas, is a fact. As for the 90s, someone from the writing fraternity came up with it, Mikhail Weller, I think. In addition, it is not worth calling the murky waves of crime that swept over not only Russia, but also the absolute majority of the countries of the “post-Soviet space” with the loud word “revolution”. Fortunately, the "lads", who were eager for all this, did not receive the final power over the state and full control over its resources. Hence - an attempted coup, as a maximum.
Having more or less sorted out the terminology, we can proceed to the main point: how could it have happened that in the “totalitarian” Soviet state, in which, as the current liberals continue to insist, “everything was under complete control”, above all, “punitive bodies ", Suddenly there were criminal gangs numbering thousands and tens of thousands of" fighters "and at the same time" rolling "millions? And not always in rubles? There is an opinion that the fault lies in the stubborn unwillingness of the party-state leadership of the USSR, which has become stagnant in ideological clichés, and even fell into elementary insanity, to recognize the obvious.
Allegedly, it was precisely the denial “at the very top” of the presence of prostitution, drug addiction and, of course, organized crime in the Soviet state that opened the widest road “to the masses” for such people. But smart people in the same militia foresaw everything and even warned: "The lion got ready," "The lion jumped," and so on ... The title of these articles in Literaturnaya Gazeta now says little to most Russians, but when they were published in 1988, it was an all-Union sensation! Well, of course - a lieutenant colonel from the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs admits the presence of a real mafia in the country! We will return to some moments of the "revelations" of this Colonel - Alexander Gurov a little later. In the meantime, let's dwell on one of them: no matter how ridiculous and wild it sounds today, but the main weapon against domestic organized crime, this high-ranking policeman considered (and, it seems quite sincerely) not to strengthen law enforcement agencies or tighten the relevant legislation, but ... " publicity"! "The mafia must realize that society knows about it and will fight as with a phenomenon ..." As further practice showed, the "lads" wanted to sneeze at publicity, and as for "perestroika" - that is how it became for the domestic organized crime is a real "ticket to life", which allowed to unfold in all its breadth and power. Where did all these murderers, robbers and extortionists come from in our fatherland, and even in such quantities that they managed to turn the utter life of a huge number of their fellow citizens into hell?
In one of the liberal Russian editions, I happened to come across a statement that was stunning in terms of cynicism and incongruity: they say, “during the years of communist rule, so much negative energy has accumulated in the country that everything simply could not but end in an explosion”. Bullshit and shameless lies. Having come to power, our society began to pump up “perestroika” with “negative energy”. The "ideological foundation" of the future criminal hard times was laid precisely by the complete destruction of the moral and ethical values of the Soviet era and their replacement by the cult of enrichment at any cost and worship of the Western "ideal." The social base was created through destruction economics, which gave birth to an army of unemployed, hungry and really embittered people around the world, first of all - young people who did not have any intelligible perspective in the new life realities.
A significant role was played by the regional conflicts that broke out throughout the USSR, almost overnight, which became the sources of both the mass of weapons of army models, and, what is much more terrible, people who are capable and ready to use this very weapon without the slightest hesitation anywhere and when whatever. The total collapse of the Armed Forces and the theft of their property also contributed to the saturation of the underworld with weapons, ammunition, explosives and specialists of the relevant profiles. There was one more thing - the organized crime that emerged in the "post-Soviet space" would never have reached such proportions and would not have risen to such heights as it was in reality, if not for the global processes taking place in the former Soviet republics - such like mass privatization, the transfer of everything and everyone into private hands. However, all this is a background. And what are the origins?
... And the Soviet deficit
Let me put forward and try to substantiate my own hypothesis regarding the emergence in the “post-Soviet space” of numerous criminal communities that have gone down in history as “brigades”. I will make a reservation that there are a lot of such hypotheses. Of course, I will not cite them all here, but I will dwell on only one. In the opinion of its adherents, the "brigades" are a product of the "old" domestic organized crime, that is, "thieves in law" who, with the beginning of "perestroika", received freedom of action. There is a certain amount of truth here, but only very little. Most law enforcement practitioners consider this version untenable. The main proof is the deaths of dozens or even hundreds of thieves in law who fell in an unequal struggle with bandits of the “new formation” - “Komsomol members” or “sportsmen,” as they called them. Yes, in the end, many criminal communities, if not most of them, nevertheless fell under the influence and power of "thieves", but that was later. The root of all evil was different.
Let me suggest: the father of organized crime in the USSR was ... scarcity! Yes Yes! The one about which the great Arkady Raikin joked so talentedly and funny. In the United States, the mafia, bootlegging, and mass gangsterism have been fueled by a shortage of alcohol, which in turn is caused by Prohibition. In our country, the shortage of consumer goods gave birth to "guilds" and racketeers. Here, perhaps, for younger readers and others who are not very familiar with the criminal realities of that time, it is worth explaining who, in fact, these "tsehoviks" were.
As the name implies, these were businessmen who organized clandestine workshops for the production of certain types of goods, while earning absolutely crazy money and with the state, of course, they did not share it. What was the secret of their super-profits and economic success? Tsehoviks, in contrast to the most powerful, but completely incomprehensible to whom and what the domestic industry was oriented towards in the last years of the existence of the USSR, reacted to demand more sensitively than the bones of rheumatism to changes in the weather. They were adventurous, they were inventive, they managed to create money out of nothing, out of thin air ... There is a fashion for rugs - terrible crafts with busty mermaids, swans, as if frozen in an attack of epilepsy, mutant deer and other characters capable of scaring any heroes to death horror movies? The shop workers react instantly - they buy in kilometers from the bum-builders ... fabric for wrapping and heat-insulating pipes! And now, under a stencil cut out on the board, spattered with paint at random, schizophrenic "masterpieces" are born, which once adorned the walls of hundreds of houses and apartments. The cost price is close to zero. The selling price is sixty rubles! People want crystal - please! The glasses bought for seven kopecks in Belarus are turned into "crystal" by acid etching, which are sold, respectively, with a twenty-fold "wrap". Fashion for Cascade chandeliers? Underground workshops are beginning to rivet them too - and in unmeasured quantities. "Rubik's Cube"? Passport covers? Sheets? Yes, even a devil in a mortar! The release of everything that could not be found on the shelves of state stores during the day with fire and that was in high demand, the shop workers mastered instantly.
Naturally, even in workshops that worked quite legally (there were, imagine, there were such), one item out of ten was accounted for and carried out in the accounting department, and even then in the best case. Considering that no tax inspection and, indeed, practically no taxes as such existed then, it is difficult to even imagine in what numbers the purest superprofit that went absolutely past the "bins of the Motherland" was calculated ... Business is business, economic activity, whether it is "white "Or" black ", legal or" shadow ", has its own laws. In full accordance with them, from time to time, various collisions arise, including "economic disputes", mutual non-payments and the like. What should be done by those who cannot apply for the resolution of these disputes to the court, arbitration, or the police? Who will they go to, guess? You guess right! In general, this is elementary - with the development of the "shadow" business, people appear who have huge amounts of money, but are unable to legally protect them. The "economic disputes", conflicts and contradictions that arise in this business are again not possible to settle within the framework of the law. This is where the "lads" enter the scene, whose representatives become guards, guarantors, judges, and, of course, executioners. All over the world, large criminal clans control prostitution, drug and arms trafficking, illegal migration and the like. However, at the same time they regularly try to "get into" the legal, "clean" sectors of the economy, because this is their nature and essence. Having originated like a putrefactive fungus on the sectors of society affected by social "diseases", this infection invariably tries to devour the entire state "organism".
Could it be otherwise?
It is no coincidence that I dwelt in such detail on the prehistory and purely economic prerequisites for the appearance in our country of criminal communities and clans of the type of "dashing 90s". It would be, at the very least, incorrect to blame the law enforcement agencies for “oversleeping”, “patting” and not stopping an attempt at a “criminal revolution”. They all saw, they all knew and very much even tried to fight - despite their own, more than modest at that time, opportunities. This is not only about the ridiculous technical equipment of the same "post-Soviet" militia, which in the late 80s - early 90s did not have normal transport, modern communications and many other things that at that time were necessary components of the material support of their western colleagues.
All this (as well as the beggarly salaries) was largely compensated by the old, still Soviet "hardening" and human potential. The "authorities" of that time for the most part consisted of people who came to the service not to "solve issues" and earn money, but to really fight crime. But they were not allowed to do this! The legislative base, both in Russia and in many other former republics of the USSR, has not changed for years in accordance with the new realities, and knowing all the crime bosses, law enforcement officers simply did not have the opportunity to bring them to justice - articles according to which they can and should would be to bring charges, the Criminal Code was completely absent. Moreover, as I said above, the criminal clans came to the moment of their "finest hour" with a much better groundwork than those who, in theory, had to stop them.
Huge "shadow" capitals, which they could now legalize and put into business without the slightest problems, connections, clear organization, and most importantly, the state that stood on their side, not law enforcement officers policy - this is what became the key to the success of the Russian “godfathers”. Alexander Gurov and Yuri Shchekochikhin, who interviewed him, in 1988 in all seriousness broadcast that “the most favorable time for the domestic mafia was the time of stagnation,” that it was “interested in command methods of managing the economy,” “its salvation is in the bureaucracy, and death in publicity. "... It is funny and painful to read all this today. Life has refuted such naive-pretentious passages in the most ruthless way. Of all the post-Soviet countries, Belarus has and still has the least problems with organized crime. According to authoritative international organizations, she simply is not there! Absent from the word "absolutely" ... And the point is not only in the professionalism and very high status of local law enforcement officers (by the way, the only ones in the post-Soviet space to keep the name "militia"), but again, in general state policy. Where the state has retained the "commanding heights" in the economy, "brigades" simply have "nothing to catch." On the "roofing" of stalls and cafes, you will not roam much and do not really turn around. An attempt by the criminals to "get on their feet" in Belarus was crushed instantly, and in the most harsh way - but the main thing is that a "breeding ground" was not created for them there.
Alas, we have to admit that in the realities that developed in the USSR before its collapse and, accordingly, Russia inherited a surge in crime and the emergence of its organized forms, were completely inevitable. And the blame here lies not with the police generals or prosecutors, but exclusively with those in power who have pushed the country into the abyss of the "criminal revolution."