Originally Posted by sylla1
BTW, welcome to Historum, Roughneck.
Thanks, found it randomly while trying to find info on the blatnye.
I've actually found quite a little trove of information on the subject, but I'm not sure if it's ok to post a link or paste a quote.
I'll just say for now that the place to look is a popular online encyclopedia which starts with a W. The terms to search are "vory v zakone", "воры в законе" (if you speak russian or use google translate), and "Thieves In Law" (literal translation).
The world of russian underworld music, which was also mentioned in The Gulag Archipelago a few times, also has an article there and is called "Shanson" or "Russian Chanson".
I stumbled across all this while researching Vladimir Vysotsky, who covered some of the old thieves' songs, which is funny since I tried and failed to find this information several times prior.