Lord Putin sent in his beloved Night Wolves to secure the Crimea. Did he tell Merkel ‘His Man’ was on the ground, and, he’ll be leading his wolf pack into the Ukraine? Note the cross of the Russian Orthodox Church on the jackets. Putin has compared these bikers to the Hell’s Angels. The Battle of Armageddon is fought between the angels of heaven and hell.
Being fourth generation Oakland, I went to school with kids who became Hell’s Angels. My godfather, a sergeant on the Oakland Police Force, led fifty cops against the Angel’s at their headquarters in order to kick their ass. They left their guns and badges in their squad cars.
“The Night Wolves are Russia’s largest motorbike club, with over 5,000 members. Fiercely patriotic, they believe that “wherever the Night Wolves are, that should be considered Russia”.
Let them come to Oakland and pretend they are in Russia.
On Friday afternoon, the regular flight from Moscow touched down in the Crimean capital of Simferopol, in the south of Ukraine, carrying the leader of a Russian motorcycle gang known as the Night Wolves. Alexander Zaldostanov, an old friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was wearing his usual get-up – a flaming wolf’s head stenciled onto his black leather vest – but for once he was not the most intimidating figure on the scene. Since the morning, dozens of masked troops had been sauntering around Crimea’s main airport, armed to the teeth but refusing to identify themselves. In some ways, they seemed to have the same goal as Zaldostanov, who goes by the nickname The Surgeon. They were sending a signal to the revolutionary government in Ukraine that it was no longer in charge on this peninsula.
Read more: Ukraine: Russia Ups the Ante in Crimea | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/02/28/crimea-russia-putin-night-wolves/#ixzz2v6YCrvC0
The Night Wolves are Russia’s largest motorbike club, with over 5,000 members.
Fiercely patriotic, they believe that “wherever the Night Wolves are, that should be considered Russia”.
On Saturday, the Night Wolves organised a mass ride from the northeast of Ukraine through the Russian speaking eastern regions to the Crimea.
They wanted to hand out supplies to pro-Russian militia forces there.
A member of the club’s local chapter said: “We don’t want what happened in Kiev to happen here. Nazis and bandits have seized power there. And if we have to fight, we’ll fight with everything we can get our hands on.”
While a group of camouflaged, armed militiamen patrolled Crimea’s main airport today, there was a second gang of tough-looking men who showed up to join the pro-Russia side to take control of this mostly Russian enclave of southern Ukraine.
The tattooed and bejewelled crew was decked out in leather, black jeans and heavy boots, with patches of a wolf and flame stitched onto their vests. They were the Russian biker gang, the “Night Wolves.” They’ve modeled themselves on the Hell’s Angels, and President Putin has been known to don a leather jacket and ride with them.
Its president, Hirurg, had just landed from Moscow and the local Simferopol chapter was there to pick him up (alas, in a car, not on Harleys). Burly and broad-shouldered, Hirurg sported a goatee, sideburns and a friendly — if intimidating — demeanour. “Hirurg” means surgeon in Russian and he said he was an actual surgeon (having watched every season of “Sons of Anarchy,” I was disappointed the name wasn’t for something more dramatic).
“What’s happening right now in Ukraine is very big for me,” Hirurg said, calling it “humiliation of the Russia population.”
“I want to understand what people here really need to protect them from the fascists,” he added, suggesting it might be even medicine or other humanitarian aid.
So it’s odd that Russian President Vladimir Putin has struck up an enduring friendship with the group’s leader, Alexander Zaldostanov, a man nicknamed ‘The Surgeon’.
Indeed, Mr Putin’s links to the group are considerable enough that he was accidentally put on a blacklist by Finnish authorities, banning him from entering the country.
Finnish authorities later said it had been a big mistake and they had ordered the banning order to be removed.
Mr Putin first met the bike group in 2009 – a stunt that his detractors viewed as another of his macho photo opportunities.
But Mr Putin’s links to the group seem sincere.
Mr Putin was once four hours late for a meeting with former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych because he had been touring the Crimea with Mr Zaldostanov.
Last year, Mr Putin awarded Mr Zaldostanov with an Order of Honour for his “active work in the patriotic upbringing of the young”.
In return, Mr Zaldostanov has praised the President for his attempts to “restore Russia’s greatness”.
In 2011 a leather-clad Putin led a column of Night Wolves into the Russian city of Novorossiysk for a bike show.
The group’s rallies and rides have become an increasing show of Russian soft power in Eastern Europe.
Following feminist group Pussy Riot’s ‘punk prayer’ in a Moscow cathedral, the Night Wolves offered to guard Orthodox cathedrals against any further ‘hooliganism’.
The group’s political links have also led to clashes with rival motorbike groups.
One of their members was killed last November in a shoot-out with the Three Roads club.
The Three Roads’s leader, Yebgeny Vorobyev, said the shoot-out had begun over his group’s decision to end ties with the wolves in favour of a U.S. based club called the Bandidos.
He added that the Wolves had become too politicised.