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Within a year, he built an international operation that included, but was not limited to, narcotics, money laundering, and prostitution and made ties with the American Mafia and Colombian drug cartels, eventually extending to Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston. Prior to Ivankov's arrival, Balagula's downfall left a void for America's next vory v zakone.Monya Elson, leader of Monya's Brigada (a gang that similarly operated from Russia to Los Angeles to New York), was in a feud with Boris Nayfeld, with bodies dropping on both sides.Those who refused to fight in the war referred to the traitors as suka ("bitch"), and the traitors landed at the bottom of the "hierarchy".
American, Armenian, Chinese, Corsican, Italian ('Ndrangheta and Camorra), Serbian mafia, Bulgarian mafia, Albanian mafia, Macedonian mafia, Romanian mafia, Turkish mafia, Drug cartels and Israeli mafia: "brotherhood"), is a collective of various organized crime elements originating in the former Soviet Union.After Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, Stalin was recruiting more men to fight for the nation, offering prisoners freedom if they joined the army.Many flocked to help out in the war, but this act betrayed codes of the Thieves' World that one must not ally with the government.Vladimir Lenin attempted to wipe them out, but failed During Stalin's reign as ruler, millions of criminals were sent to gulags (Soviet labor camps), where powerful criminals worked their way up to become vory v zakone ("thieves-in-law").
These criminal elite often conveyed their status through complicated tattoos, symbols still used by Russian mobsters.
In the following year, Balagula fled the country after he was convicted in a fraud scheme of Merrill Lynch customers, and was found in Frankfurt, West Germany in 1989, where he was extradited back to the US and sentenced to eight years in prison.