10:50 May. 3, 2016
'Night Wolves' claim to have entered E.U. through Slovakia
Pro-Putin bikers from the 'Night Wolves' gang entered the European Union. Their leader Andrey Bobrovski reported 'they are in Slovakia heading for the Czech city of Brno'. There they are supposed to meet with their counterparts who managed to drive along the Polish route.
Bobrovski says currently there are approximately 20 people in the gang, but their number may increase up to several hundreds on their way to Berlin. The bikers' leader is reluctant to explain how his colleagues (who were previously banned entry) managed to enter Poland.
A group of bikers known as 'Russian motorcyclists' who had plans to follow a path commemorating the Red Army's victory over the Nazi Germany 71 years ago are a part of the 'Night Wolves', a nationalistic Russian biker gang loyal to President Vladimir Putin.
On April 29, Polish authorities refused entry to a group of 'Night Wolves' bikers. Poland's' Ambassador to Russia Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz was later summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the move. Although there was no official information about the reason of the summons, Polish media reported Moscow being angered by Warsaw's intention to remove one more Soviet monument and ban entry for its bikers.
'Night Wolves' at the Polish border, May 1, 2016
A day after pro-Putin bikers were banned entering the Baltic region. Lithuanian border guards blocked two Russian bikers trying to enter the country via Belarus. Two men could neither explain their reason for entering Lithuania nor produce any required documents. One of the motorcycles had a Soviet star on it, a symbol prohibited in Lithuania.
Last year the 'Night Wolves', also known as Putin's Rockers, organized the same Moscow-Berlin tour, but most of the participants were blocked by Poland. Some of the bikers were also refused entry by German and Lithuanian authorities. As a result, in Europe, the run was continued mainly by their European supporters.
The 'Night Wolves' are blacklisted by the United States and Canada for taking part in Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014. The bikers have also been vocal in their support for Russian-backed separatist forces fighting against Ukrainian government troops in eastern Ukraine.