The Russian biker gang, whose members are called Vladimir Putin’s favourites, will not be let into Poland. This is the decision made by the Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna following the appeal by the Open Dialog Foundation and the protest by Polish activists against the ride of the Night Wolves across Central and Eastern Europe.
Making his decision, the Minister took account of the request contained in ODF’s letter to consider the issuance of visas to the Schengen zone to the gang members. In the document, the head of the Foundation’s press office, Tomasz Czuwara, listed a number of reasons why the groups led by Aleksandr Zaldostanov should not be let into Poland. The Night Wolves organisation was involved, among other things, in the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea. What is more, its members are taking part in the fighting in the east of Ukraine. The Night Wolves’ leaders are also well known for organising pro-Russian provocations in the Baltic States’ territories.
After the Foundation had engaged itself in Jarosław Podworski’s “No to the crossing of Poland by bandits from Russia!” campaign on Facebook, ODF members entered consultations at the German Embassy and were active in the media. Statements on the Night Wolves made by Tomasz Czuwara and the Chair of the Foundation’s Council, Bartosz Kramek, were cited by both Polish (such as Wprost weekly, Program Trzeci Polskiego Radia – Polish Radio Channel 3, tvn24, and the interia.pl and niezależna.pl portals), and Ukrainian and Russian media (24 channel, Kanal 5, Euromaidan Press, ICTV Channel, ProshloeProshlo, and many others).
After the decision had been made, the head of ODF’s press office did not conceal his satisfaction. “We thank all activists and journalists who, hand in hand, were putting the elements of the puzzle together, showing that they were not just a group of passionate bikers who wanted to enter Poland, but a criminal organisation with blood on its hands, engaged on the side of terrorists in Ukraine and with a network of connections in Western Europe, too,” Czuwara wrote on the Foundation’s fanpage.
The Night Wolves, who openly admit honouring Stalin, wanted to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II by riding through Belarus, Poland, and Germany. A column of motorcycles, decorated with Russian flags, set off from Moscow on the 25th April. Today, the column was due to pass the border crossing at Brześć-Terespol, but was denied access at the border. On the 9th May, the bikers were planning to arrive in Berlin and place flowers at the monument to Soviet Soldiers.