Tattoos are more than just body art to the Russians. They are a complicated language that is used in the criminal underworld and in the prison system and can symbolize many things. Some are given to symbolize rank and accomplishments within a criminal organization while others are given in prison and are symbols of rebellion, anarchy, and belief.
When a prisoner enters the Gulag or prison system their tattoos tell their history and where they fit in within the complicated rank system. For those who are initiated and understand the hidden language the entire life accomplishments of an individual may be learned without every asking a question.
In Mafia Wars tattoos are just a collection in the Moscow Expansion but in the real world of the Russian criminal they are a language of their own. Here you will find the meanings of both the tattoos that are used in the game for a collection and a few others of note.