by Low Lai Chow in New Photography on Wednesday 19 June 2013

The Russian Criminal Tattoo Archive documents Russian criminals’ tattoos and their coded meanings — and includes tattoo drawings by prison guard Danzig Baldaev and photographs by Sergei Vasiliev. This set of photographs by Vasiliev were taken in between 1989 and 1993 in prisons and reform settlements across Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Perm and St Petersburg. Reading about the symbolism behind these makes these even more incredible.