Pro-Putin bikers set up 'European branch' in Slovakia

THUMPERRRR's picture

The pro-Kremlin Night Wolves bikers have set up a "European branch" just northeast of the Slovak capital Bratislava, triggering concern in the EU and NATO member.

Fiercely loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the bikers cross Europe each year to celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet World War II victory on May 9.

Ex-Communist countries in central Europe that are now EU and NATO members see the journeys as a provocation, with some banning the bikers from their territories.

"The European branch of the 'Night Wolves' bikers' club opened in Dolna Krupa on June 23," the Russian embassy in Slovakia said Tuesday.

An embassy representative attended the opening, it added without providing further details.

The development triggered concern in the leftist populist government of Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, with a foreign ministry spokesman insisting that authorities would have to monitor and evaluate the bikers' activities on Slovak soil.

"We perceive this club's effort to settle in Slovakia with concern," said Peter Susko, spokesman for the Slovak foreign ministry, quoted by Slovakia's Pravda daily.

"We consider the opinions of some of its members harmful," he added, characterising some statements as "rewriting history".

Members of the Night Wolves rode down en masse to Ukraine's Crimea peninsula just after it was annexed by Russia in March 2014 and members have also fought side by side with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Established in 1989, shortly before the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Night Wolves comprise 5,000 members from across the territory of the former USSR.

Slovak security analyst Jaroslav Nad described the Night Wolves as a para-military group on the Russian government's payroll that is involved in criminal activity.

"This is part of the ongoing hybrid war," Nad, who is the director of the Slovak Security Policy Institute, told Pravda.

NATO allies have accused Russia of using so-called "hybrid warfare" techniques which include subversion, propaganda as well as cyber attacks to undermine the West without triggering a full NATO military response.

"It's incredible that they could establish what is almost a military base with barbed wire (in Slovakia) and I can't understand why Slovakia's security forces tolerate this," Nad added.

The Russian Night Wolves Motorcycle Club, a member pictured here in 2015, plans a "European branch" in Slovakia

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Source of News article:

Related Articles

Elk Hunt   Fly Fishing Guide
  Silver Stock
  Biker News

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World. This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service, you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must Click Here to contact acting agent.