The dead are captured in a variety of poses looking tough, relaxed, and even one – strangely – chatting on the telephone.
One of the men brought to life by his image even features a gold watch and ring that stands out against the black stone.
Another bust is monitored around the clock by a CCTV camera making sure that the occupant’s resting place is not tampered with. Locals said bouquets of fresh flowers were also permanently replaced next to it.
The unusual graveyard in the industrial Uralmarsh area of Ekaterinburg, Russia, sits in a tree-lined reserve in what became one of Russia’s most violent gangster zones following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.Now the gangsters who operated around the nearby complex of military factories stare out at the world from a special area of the cemetery – reserved for mafia bosses and henchmen.In true gangster style the showy tombstones display many of the men they symbolise wearing clothing preferred by mafia men during the bloody era.
Its been nearly two decades since the so-called Mafia Wars began in Russia and its neighboring states, but it’s almost impossible to forget the specific mixture of decadence and violence that reigned supreme. One need only to trek through a local graveyard to wax nostalgia and remember the days of kneecapping and protection rings. The extravagant tombstones that lay untouched in cities like Yekaterinburg, Russia and Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine stand as monuments to the tumultuous period.
The headstones can range from gaudy and extravagant to downright bizarre and tasteless. Check them out.