THIEF IN LAW #4 | Born Lion™ is an author’s design!
A “thief in law” (Russian: вор в зако́не), in the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet states, and respective diasporas abroad is a specifically granted formal and special status of “criminal authority” (Russian: криминальный авторитет ), a professional criminal who enjoys an elite position among other notified mobsters within the organized crime and correctional facility environments and employs informal authority over its lower-status members.
The phrase “Thieves in Law”, otherwise known as “Vory”, is a calque of the Russian slang phrase “вор в зако́не,” literally translated as “a Thief the law.”
The phrase has two distinct meanings in Russian: “A legalized thief” and “A thief who is the Law.” “Vor” came to mean ‘thief’ no earlier than in the 18th century, before which it meant “criminal”. The word retains this meaning in the professional criminal argot.
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