Fearless Russian Bikers To Start Victory Journey

Despite chilly wind and sporadic snow, unusual for this period of year in Moscow, there were thousands of motorcyclists today at the motorcycle season opening ceremony. The party took place at the Bike Centre Sexton in the West of Moscow. This place is a Mecca for all Russian bikers, as it is the den of the Russian biker club The Night Wolves, which is led by the charismatic “Surgeon”.

Russian biker surgeon

The Surgeon, alias Alexander Zaldostanov, before the bikers convoy departure.

At 10 am, the Bike Centre was already packed with die-hard bikers, visitors and journalists. The atmosphere was festive, with live music. The Night Wolves have a good experience of organizing parties. They hold for many years a huge rock festival in Sevastopol, Crimea. Today, at the entrance, a band from Cuba performed famous latino songs. Dozens of police officers on motorbike were also attending, to make sure the convoy moves easily through the city.

Russian biker opening ceremony

The departure signal has just been given. The place is now full of roaring engines !

This time, however, you could feel something tense in the atmosphere. The Night Wolves plan to leave Moscow today to start a 5000 km long journey through Europe, via Belarus, Poland, The Czech Republic and Germany. They are to arrive in Berlin on the 9th of May to lay some flowers at the Treptov Park, the war memorial to the Soviet Soldier. Some Polish and Czech activists asked their government not to let the Russian bikers cross their country, claiming they are the symbol of the Russian aggression against the West. Now, Poland officially has forbidden the Russian convoy from entering its territory, despite massive support to the Wolves from Polish bikers. It’s a long and tiring trip they prepared for a long time, so let’s hope that they will find a way in to be welcomed by their European supporters.

The Night Wolves statue with a badge reading: “Attacking Russia is attacking myself”

Russian bikers statue

For those of you who would ask whether I support the Wolves views on politics, the annexation of Crimea or ties with Putin, I would answer no. They have categorical positions on many sensitive questions. But on the other hand, they think in huge scale, everything they set up is impressive and bound to success. Their deeds for the social issues, the orphans, the disabled make them deserve my respect. The Night Wolves have become a colorful part of Russia.

Russian night wolves

Close your jacket and open the gas!

Russian bikers

Please wait! Cannot find my keys!

At exactly 12:40 pm, as scheduled, the pack of Russian bikers sat on the machines and rode in the Moscow streets. What a feeling! No cars! Only motorcycles in a kilometer long convoy, like a powerful giant snake! A huge urban community united to celebrate the forthcoming sunny days! Let’s wish everybody a warm and safe season!

Russian biker Sebastian Zelechowski

Update Monday 27 April: Polish border guards prevented the Night Wolves from entering Poland. Pity for them. Let’s hope these ferocious 20 bikers far from home  will find a way into EU via another country.

Night wolves 27-05

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  • © Sebastian Zelechowski, Moscow 2011
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