Russian Prison Tattoo Meanings:
Spades - The "suit of thieves" (particularly where the symbol appears upside down)
Clubs - Another "criminal" suit
Diamonds - The "chummy suit" (i.e. stool-pigeons, rats, & informers); this suit is usually forcibly applied.
Hearts - a sexual symbol; it may mark the wearer out as a "passive homosexual" within the prison
Cross - A cross worn on the chest signifies a "Prince of Thieves," the highest possible rank.
'Grins' - Humorous tattoos usually incorporating a grinning face and are often accompanied by text
Snakes - Snakes have a particular symbolism and are usually worn by high ranking gang members Tigers - Sign of an 'Enforcer'
Cats - The cat is associated with the characteristics needed by a criminal.
Skulls - These are usually worn by high ranking gang members.
Eyes - These are forcibly placed on lower backside to show that the prisoner is used for sexual gratification.
Barbed Wire - A barbed wire across ones forehead usually indicates a life-term in prison.
Swastika - Is forcibly applied to forehead and marks one for death.
Stars - Stars commonly represent time served. Each point indicates a year served in jail.
Churches - Like stars, but for Christian prisoners, the number
of dome towers indicate the amount of years that the prisoner has been