Vladimir Putin riding with the Night Wolves during his election campaign in 2011
Article by: Alya Shandra
Polish society strongly protests against the transit of Russian bikes from the Night Wolves club through Poland on their way to Berlin on Victory Day in homage of the city’s conquest by the Red Army.
The Facebook event Against Russian biker gang trail in EU! was joined by over ten thousand users a few days after it was created, and the petition to the Minister of Foreign Affairs received more than four thousand signatures. Among the organizers of the protest are the Foundation “Open Dialog,” Polish politicians, bikers, journalists, and other activists.
As an organization that supports the Ukrainian people from the beginning of the Euromaidan revolution, we strongly oppose the transit of the “Wolves” through Poland. We know that Polish society supports Ukraine in their fight for independence and democratic change. A journey of Russian bandits through Poland would mean a lack of solidarity with society that is fighting against Russian aggression. The Foundation believes that people are considered to be criminals and who participated in the annexation of the Crimea, are fighting in Donbas on Russia’s side and are known for public approval of totalitarian communist regime and Stalin should not be able to legally get into Poland,” said Tomasz Chuvara, a spokesman for the Foundation in Poland.
The Foundation has sent an official letter to the Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, Polish Ambassador in Russia Katarzyna Pelchynskoyi-Nałęcz, and Konrad Pawlik from the East Division of the MFA of Poland, in which they requested to to bar the rally’s participants from entering the Republic of Poland, and to report their names to the Schengen Information System and inform other countries of the Schengen about the threat coming from this initiative.
Member of the organization have enrolled to fight in Donbas on the side of the Russian troops and their proxies. They were involved in Russia’s annexation of Crimea and are organizers of pro-Russian provocations in the Baltic countries, another vulnerable territory for Putin’s hybrid war. US and Canada have imposed sanctions on the leader of the Night Wolves; he is also a leader of Kremlin’s Antimaidan movement, “a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers,” according to a Moscow commentator. In Finland, the group is in the register of criminal gangs. The “Wolves” are known for their public approval of the totalitarian communist system and glorification of Stalin, which in Poland is a criminal offense.
As the Polish outlet Dziennik Polski reported, Former MEP and Foreign Affairs vice Minister Pawel Kowal also opposes the Wolves setting tire on Polish ground:
We must not permit the Night Wolves to enter Poland, because this would be symbolic violence, from which real violence begins. Therefore, we must prevent this.
Not all Russian bikers approve of the Night Wolves’ pro-Putin stance. On 17 April 2015, St.Petersburg bikers opposed the gang leader’s participation in the opening of the bike season, not wanting to turn it into “an affiliated branch of their Antimaidan,” as reported by fontanka.ru. Putin has publicly ridden with the Wolves in 2011 and has extensively used them for his election campaign.
In August 2014, the gang was involved in a propaganda show in Crimea, where they participated as parts of a living swastika.