The Russian Mafia has always exercised an important role in the Russian economy. The contemporary Mafiosi are descendents of the seventeenth Century highwaymen and Cossack robbers. These men occasionally murdered families prior to raids preventing them from being captured. The Russia Mafiosi made a point to remain aloof from the state. Mob men were actually spurned when returning home from fighting in the Great Patriotic War. The gangs begin to dominate markets such as car sales, spare parts, cigarettes, food distribution, and other markets that the Communist Party failed to provide under the Bolsheviks (Remnick196).
Since the collapse of Communism and the dawn of Capitalism, the Russian people have been troubled with innumerable obstacles. There are more than 3,000 gangs known generally as the Russian Mafia. They have proven to be a significant force in delaying the reform process (Goldman 58). The new Russian Mafia has involved .
themselves in every imaginable kind of criminal activity from drug trafficking and money laundering to protectionism, which penetrates into every area of society. Under the laws of the Soviet Union, the regulations were strong and external. Now the external regulators have disappeared allowing the Russian Mafia to exceedingly enlarge its strength and influence especially with the accelerated speed of privatization without legal safeguards.
The Russian Mafia's effect on the Russian economy through protectionism can be viewed through the different scopes of academia, the United States Press, and the Russian Press. Protectionism is a preferred activity of the Russian Mafia. When a new private business opens, the mafia ensures that it will get a share of the profits. The mob offers the new operation protection. If the business refuses to purchase protection, the mafia uses violence against them or their property (Gustatson 105). Most entrepreneurs purchase the protection.