: Latvia detains branch leader of pro-Putin biker gang

16:41 Apr. 7, 2016

Latvia detains branch leader of pro-Putin biker gang

Russian bikers of the Night Wolves battalion, who fight on the side of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), put on a winter show for children at their base on January 2, 2016 in Luhansk, Ukraine (Getty Images)

‘Night Wolves' member Igor Latosh to be expelled from Latvia 

On April 7, Igor Lakatosh, a Russian citizen and head of the Night Wolves MC Latvia - regional branch of the Russian pro-Putin bikers club 'The Night Wolves' - was detained in Latvia, the Latvian news outlet Delfi reports.

Lakatosh is on Latvia's 'black list' and will reportedly be expelled from the country. The Latvian authorities did not officially confirm this information. However, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis confirmed that the Russian biker was listed among 'undesirable for Latvia individuals'.

Last year Igor Lakatosh and several Latvians took part in a pro-Putin planned motorcycle ride from Moscow to Berlin to mark Soviet forces' victory over Nazi Germany.

The gang 'Night Wolves' has been working closely with the Russian authorities for a long time. Alexander Zaldostanov, the motorcycle club head, also known as the Surgeon, was a close confidant of the Russian President during his presidential campaign.

In early 2015, Zaldostanov together with a Russian actor Mikhail Porechenkov initiated the Russian movement ‘Antimaydan', which aimed at "countering illegal attempts to overthrow the current Russian government in the manner of Ukraine's Euromaidan Revolution".

'The Night Wolves' and Zaldostanov personally were blacklisted by the United States for taking part in Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014. Zaldonstanov was also prohibited from entering Canada, in 2015.

The bikers have also been loud supporters of Moscow-backed militants fighting against Ukrainian government troops in eastern Ukraine.


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