Brigada (Russian: Бригада, "(The) Brigade") was a Russian TV miniseries aired in 2002, telling the story of a group of 4 friends that form a crime syndicate in The '90s.
In 1989, Alexander "Sasha Bely" Belov returns home from his military service in Afghanistan, only to find that things have changed. His friends, Valeri "Fil" Filatov, Kosmos "Kos" Holmogorov and Vitya "Pchela" Pocyolkin have gotten themselves into organised crime and his girlfriend has left him for a local gang leader. Trying to get a grip on things, Belov gets in over his head when his rival gets killed and the latter's cousin, a local cop named Vladimir Kaverin, blames it on Belov and vows to destroy him. For the next 10 years, Belov's gang grows into a powerful criminal structure, all the while Kaverin is trying to strike from the shadows.
- As Himself: Almost. Famous Russian actor and stuntman Alexander Inshakov plays... famous Russian actor and stuntman, Alexander Kinshakov. What's more unusual is that it wasn't just some cameo, he appeared all the way throughout the series and helped Sasha a lot including to fake his death and go into hiding.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Turns out Max is a sleeper agent put in Belov's group by Kaverin, and ends up killing Kosmos, Pcholkin and Fil.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Belov's gang:
- Melancholic: Sasha himself, brave and daring but cool-headed at all times. Several people describe him as a natural-born leader and the guys accept him as such.
- Sanguine: Kosmos, the most emotional and flamboyant one, but also the first to get distraught or sidetracked.
- Choleric: Pcholkin, the most shifty of the gang who comes up with plans for crimes when Sasha doesn't.
- Phlegmatic: Fil, the most stable one and also the one least involved with crime (he has a job as an avtor). He's also The Reliable One.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Sasha goes from an innocent adolescent who dreamed of becoming a volcanologist to a ruthless crime boss and member of parliament.
- The Mafiya: Of course. Belov and his gang are upstarts, unrelated to the established vory v zakone, but some of the latter kind occasionally show up.
- The Mafia: A more traditional, "criminal family" Central Asian version: Sasha's military buddy, Farkhad, is heir to an influential crime family in Tajikistan who are dealing in aluminium as well as drugs.
- The New Russia: Belov's gang is a quintessential example of an up-and-coming crime group that uses the era's chaos to thrive, although the guys themselves are subversions. They're all young, handsome and intelligent, a far cry from the usual depiction of the "new Russians" as brawny, witless thugs. However, such people do abound among their underlings, associates and enemies.
- Playing Both Sides: Russia's (remaining) State Sec agency, FSB (the Federal Security Service) aids both Belov and Kaverin's crime rings so that one can counteract the other. Both men are very aware of that.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Kosmos, the son of an astrophysics professor, often gets hit with this. Who else would name their kid "Space"?