"Russian organized crime has come to plague many areas of the globe since the demise of the Soviet Union just more than a decade ago. The transnational character of Russian organized crime, when coupled with its high degree of sophistication and ruthlessness, has attracted the world's attention and concern to what has become known as a global Russian Mafia. Along with this concern, however, has come a fair amount of misunderstanding and stereotyping with respect to Russian organized crime. It is this combination that has stimulated our work on this report. [...] We want to try to clear up some of the misunderstanding and misinformation and also to try to ensure that where there is concern, it is well-founded. To do so, we will trace some of the contextual features-historical, political and economic-of Russian organized crime. We will look briefly at moves by the Russian government since 1991 to cope with its crime problem. Then we will present a case study of organized crime in the Urals region of Russia." This paper also includes a section on the threat of Russian organized crime to the United States."