Russian mafia gravestones are completely insane
Shortly after the Soviet Union was officially dissolved on December 26, 1991, Russia’s doors opened to private enterprise in an explosion of capitalist activity. Fresh money flowed in to the country, of course still tightly regulated by a still highly controlling government. As such, most of the money tended to pool within the government. Since the Russian mafia and the Russian government were basically the same thing, the mob grew very rich, very quickly. And when there’s new money flowing through the mafia, people start dying.
The mid 1990s unleashed a full-scale mafia war. A former FBI director once called the Russian mafia the greatest threat to U.S. national security in the mid 90s. Flush with cash and muscle to flex, the mob started a new trend of building idols to their fallen crew in the form of some of the ritziest gravestones imaginable.
Oddity Central points out that from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, to Yekaterinburg, Russia, the styles were much the same—gaudy, highly detailed, featuring cars, booze—sometimes booze on cars. And apparently Mercedes was the car of choice for the Russian mob in the mid 90s. Check out a few below.