Russian prison tattoos are a dark world unto themselves, one that is really only understood by the people that exist within it. From an outsider’s perspective, the aesthetic of these tattoos have always intrigued me. The symbolism that this ink carries goes so deep into the underworld that it will never fully be understood. Knives, Women, Spider Webs, Guns, Churches and other Russian icons all mean something different when they are put onto the body of a Russian criminal. In no way am I glorifying any of their acts of violence, but I enjoy looking at the decorated skin of humans that exist on the fringe! I am also including the documentary The Mark of Cain, a fascinating look into Russian prison life and how their tattoos play a part in their stories and their survival. So after the jump, see how Russian gangsters ink their bodies for life.