VE Day And The Night Wolves

May 8, 2015

All Posts, News

VE Day And The Night Wolves

Today is the seventieth anniversary of Victory in Europe Day or VE Day. And thereon hangs a couple of seventy year long tales.

It was clear by the beginning of 1945 that the Nazis were finished and at the beginning of February Hitler’s three major adversaries, Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union and Franklin Roosevelt met at Yalta, in the Crimea, which has been in the news a lot for the last year or so.

The men who may have been, for good or ill, the world’s last great men, agreed that Germany would have to surrender unconditionally; that Germany, and Berlin, would be split into four parts with the fourth part going to France; and that after the war the Soviets would join something called the United Nations. It was also generally agreed that the Soviets would drive on Berlin from the east and take the German capitol while the Americans, Brits and French squeezed the German Army from the west and south.

Supreme Allied Commander, and later President, Dwight Eisenhower liked the plan. His most ferocious general, George Smith Patton, Jr., and Churchill and British commander Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery did not. Patton, Churchill and Montgomery thought we were going to have to fight the Soviets sooner or later and that sooner was better than later. Eisenhower prevailed and three Soviet Army Groups set about capturing all of Eastern Germany.

War’s End

The Soviets began shelling Berlin on April 20. That day Adolf Hitler ordered the evacuation of all German Generals from the city and the conscription of more than 100,000 police, elderly war veterans and boys whose parents had been so foolish as to enroll them in the Hitler youth, into the forces defending the city. The battle hardened Russians ate the conscripts alive. By April 23, the Russians were fighting in the eastern suburbs. The city was completely surrounded on April 27. Hitler killed himself on April 30.

His successor, a man named Karl Dönitz signed the first of two German surrenders in Reims, France on May 7. Germany’s supreme military commander, Wilhelm Keitel, formally surrendered in Berlin on May 8 and the European theater of World War II was finally over.

The Japanese surrendered 118 days later. And the Hollister Riot began to simmer exactly 1 year, ten months and two days after that. Many of the participants in the unruly Hollister celebration, and in two, similar celebrations in Riverside, California in the following year, were veterans of the biggest and worst war. Police called them “outlaws” and “one percenters.” They called themselves outlaws and one percenters. The term “OMG” was coined in Riverside a year after Hollister.

Evolving Idea

Improbable though it may seem, the idea of being a motorcycle outlaw persisted, spread and became more appealing with the passage of time. Eventually the idea even spread to Russia and today the preeminent motorcycle club in what was once the Soviet Union is the Night Wolves.

They are Russian nationalists who ride American Harleys. They dress in leathers and working men’s clothes like bikers everywhere. They are most commonly compared in the world’s press to the Hells Angels. They have taken pains to describe themselves as a “law abiding” motorcycle club like the Iron Order. A couple of years ago they held a press conference to announce that they were not the Bandidos or the Mongols. They seem to be an unofficial extension of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

George W. Bush liked to pose with the leaders of Rolling Thunder every Memorial Day. Putin actually rides with the Night Wolves – albeit slowly on a Harley trike. Putin has given the Night Wolves more than a million dollars in official government grants, When the Russians invaded parts of the Ukraine the Night Wolves invaded the Ukraine, too. The Night Wolves represent an interesting and unexpected development in the evolution of the “motorcycle outlaw” meme.

The Night Wolves even suggest where the Iron Order Motorcycle Club might be headed. In Russia they call Night Wolves president Alexander “The Surgeon” Zaldostanov (photo above) “the fighter of the invisible front.”

Oh No! Bikers!

But most of the world still thinks the Night Wolves are the biker menace and that has been at the heart of an ongoing news story in Europe since April 10 when the Russian club announced it was riding to Berlin to celebrate VE Day and the sacrifices made by their grandfathers.

For weeks, packs of Night Wolves tried to escape the Russian border and were forbidden to enter the European Union. They were travelling with visas issued by Italy and under the rules of the European Union when one Union member issues you a visa they all have to let you in. But, an exception was made for the Russian club.

Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz called the Night Wolves proposed ride through her country a “provocation.” The Soviet domination of Eastern Europe is a fresher memory than the Nazi domination of Eastern Europe and many Eastern Europeans look at the Night Wolves and see communists – although one thing the Night Wolves probably are not are communists. The Night Wolves are also closely associated with the Russian Orthodox church and their strongest supporter in Poland in the last month has been a Polish motorcycle club called the Katyn Rally. That club is most famous for organizing rides into Russia in memory of the deaths of thousands of Polish soldiers at the hands of the Soviet secret police. “It’s about biker solidarity,” Katyn Rally’s founder, a man named Wiktor Węgrzyn, said.

What most seemed to scare Europe about the Night Wolves ride to Berlin was that they were bikers. The argument used against them wasn’t that they reminded people of the Soviets but that they reminded people of the Hollister Riot.

A Slovak politician explained that they shouldn’t be allowed to ride through his country because, “We have no guarantees that during their stay in Slovakia the Russian gang will not be violating public order and the laws of Slovakia. Slovakia’s international reputation is at stake. Therefore, should Russian nationalists enter our territory on American motorcycles, our security forces will meet them at one border and accompany them to the other one.”

A German explained that the problem was that the Night Wolves look like bikers. “We do not want peace envoys in such a menacing form,” he said.

Two days ago, an administrative court in Berlin ruled that the Night Wolves were “not a threat to public order or domestic security” and Germany had to let them in.

This morning the Night Wolves that made it all the way to Berlin laid a bouquet of red carnations at the spot where Wilhelm Keitel signed Germany’s unconditional surrender seven decades ago.

There were no reported rapes, riots, drag races or burnout contests.


27 Responses to “VE Day And The Night Wolves”

  1. Asskiller Says:

    Meanwhile in America…

    Makes me want to weep for the nation sometimes.

  2. Asskiller Says:

    @Rebel – I’d be interested in what the German MC community’s response was to the NW riding into Berlin. There’s certainly no dearth of clubs there.

  3. turpin Says:

    We pay quite modest tax to fund our Border Guards – these chaps (and ladies) do their job, which is (among others) about not letting these bastards in.

    Our Army does not need to be involved.

    What do you spend your taxes on?

  4. Paladin Says:


    I too was thinking about that. I wonder how the Germium MC felt about all that.

    Long May You Ride,


  5. Calvin, John Says:

    Make no mistake, The Night Wolves are a fully owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin as well as what the IO aspire to be.


  6. Meh Says:

    Putin totally understands every aspect of maskirovka and is wonderful at employing it.

    There is obvious irony in using bikers (a symbol of freedom FROM government elsewhere) as Kremlin social operatives and for repressing dissent in Russia, but there is enough deniability (need not be terribly PLAUSIBLE) to suit Putin and his oligarchic masters.

    Great game. Glad I’m not Russian, but the Germans got the “Slavs are slaves” part right and there will not be secular freedom in Russia any time soon, or probably in this century. Freedom is not natural to Russia but conquest is. No wonder its former subjects are nervous.

  7. Sandmann Says:

    @Asskiller and Paladin:

    The advance of the Night Wolves has received mixed reactions here: Some clubs have been welcoming, some see their run and the PR stunt that comes with it als an unnecessary provocation on the part of the former victors. Two days ago a couple of Night Wolf supporters (who also made the 5,000km ride from Moscow) arrived at the memorial site of the Dachau concentration camp and laid down a wreath there. (I live close by and afaik there were no problems whatsoever with the local MCs).

    There were no further incidents but the ones provoked by LE/big brother when they revoked the visa of some Night Wolves who wanted to come to Germany by plane. Since this decision has been overturned there are now rumors that ‘Surgeon’ the president of the Night Wolves, is going to attend the finale of the Tour in Berlin this weekend.

    There will be attendees from various German clubs, too. It remains to be seen whether the general hospitality the Night Wolves have experienced so far will last…

    Respect to the deserving,
    Tom ‘

  8. Paladin Says:


    Thanks for the answer. BTW; I’m trying to order a custom Bear Claw and air filters for a Triumph, Rocket III, from a German company There’s a language barrier (I don’t speak German). If you would be willing to help me out, it would be greatly appreciated. Rebel can give you my email address. I apologize for going off topic.

    Long May You Ride,


  9. Knucklehead Says:

    The world’s media have dubbed them ‘Putin’s Hells Angels’, which is laughable. The Night Wolves play an active role in Putin’s propaganda machine. The Russian government has reportedly given them about $1.1 million in financial ‘grants’. I think the reason they weren’t allowed to cross borders is that they are in Putin’s pocket, not because they’re bikers.

  10. The Kraut Says:

    The world media as usual are fucking wrong and the 81 is insulted by their horseshit analogy…Putin is a fucking Chekist(secret police) and a politician to boot.

    No respects to the Night Wolves…tools on wheels for a cause not honest.

    Its just me, but I’d rather imagine what the run a victorious German MC would be making had Moscow fallen in Dec. 1941.

    Membership in the Hilter Jugend was mandatory for all German and Austrian males attending elementary education during the Third Reich, my Dad was an HJ as he lived and attended school in Bischofhofen Austria from 1944-45…parents did not enroll them…schools did as a mandatory requirement while enrolled.

    Respect to those who warrant respect


  11. chromedome Says:

    ol pootin and his trike at it again lol……is he a PH with the NW or does he just ride with them….


  12. ta Says:

    there are american harleys?

  13. ta Says:

    also… another excellent article rebel, you make the connections seem obvious but its not the way we’ve been trained (or have time!) to see, so thanks for doing the heavy lifting

  14. Maltiec Says:

    Really nice post, without traditional cliches like bears and vodka. Russian reader thanks you Rebel. The only remark – NW are not Russian nationalists, I can rather call them Russian Federation nationalists. They have many nationalities in their club, the only rule is about belonging to Russian Orthodox church, but it doesn’t consist only of russians.

  15. Sandmann Says:


    Sure thing, I’ll get in touch with Rebel asap.

  16. The Confederate Celt Says:

    Vlad the Bad scares me a whole lot less than does Barry O’. But, maybe that’s because Vlad’s “over there” and Barry’s over here. Has anybody heard of American Transplant MC’s being persecuted over there?

  17. The Confederate Celt Says:

    I’m surprised they’re not riding Urals. One would suspect that the “Solo’s” are still available over there without the sidecar. My memory might be wrong in my old age, but I seem to remember a few years back that Ural had a “Nightwolf” or something like that model which was little more that a bobbed or chopped Solo. It was actually rather cute.

  18. roachclip Says:

    @ ta- Yes there are still American made Harleys, 1903-1972.’73 Enter the showa lower legs. I don’t know how many dampener bolts I rounded out before I realized they were fucking metric. Yes I am a very slow learner and couldn’t comprehend what outsourcing actually was in the 1970’s.

    Respects, roach.

  19. FF Says:

    I cant help but wonder what if the spooks that murdured Patton an Rommel didnt execute the task that a multi nation army lead bythose two men could have destroyed bolshevism once and for all.

  20. The Kraut Says:

    @ The Confederate Celt…Ural made a 2-up named the ‘Wolf’. It had a modded rear swing-arm to ride lower and the front forks were italian made. They have forward controls from the factory in Irbit, but were mounted just over the cylinders…looked good for ankle braising.

    I ride an Ural Gear-up sidecar rig…damn good bike…wears out tires and brake pads/shoes but otherwise goes good but slow.

    Respects to those who warrant respect


  21. Philo_Bedo Says:

    I don’t think the Euro’s are so much worried about a biker menace from Russia as they want to give Putin fuck you when ever and where ever they can for invading eastern europe. Night wolves have some shady dealings with the politiboro.


  22. The Kraut Says:

    @FF…So true…the world that may have been?

    Recommend reading “Target Patton”

    Respects Kraut

  23. rookery Says:

    Chirug has at one time or another used his cosy relationship with the old security establishment to try and have all the other big clubs banned in Russia. his relationship with both the 81 , bandidos and the AOA in that part of the world could be described as a little tense thanks to this. There was a leaked letter from him a while back with a plea to the authorities in Kazakstan to have all the other MC clubs shut down as American influenced subversives. The MC scene in Russia is flourishing and the NW (leadership)are extremly nervous about their once total control being diluted hence public stunts like the peace ride etc… Russian bikers like the cops just about as much as we do so long term he’s kicking his clubs foundations away. A lot of the respect those guys had world wide in the old days has basically gone..

  24. Whitepride Says:

    Too bad Roosevelt and Truman were pussies and didn’t let Patton’s Third Army and the British roll right through those commie bastards! I’m sure they could have rounded up a German division to help them out

  25. The Kraut Says:

    The fucking Russians had to have Gen. Patton dismissed in shame or executed as he was the only General capable of taking on the Red army and commanding the forces needed to exterminate ALL the fucking sub-human Bolsheviks…GSP would have nuked Moscow as soon as the Berlin corridor was closed by the Red army in 1948…then within 2-3 days an American led army group that would include former Wehrmacht and waffen-SS troops as well as UK troops would be on the way to the Volga river!

    Fucking Putin is nothing more than a chekist shit who sees himself as the embodiment of Josef Stalin in the present day…a total shit!

    I hope the brave Ukranian people hand the fucking proto-commies their Russian federation asses! The Ukraine welcomed the Germans as liberators before and hopefully will again!

    Fuck Communism and Fuck the Russian shits who pine for it.

    Mein Ehre Heist Treue!



  26. Sandmann Says:

    Some of the people I ride with attended the final stop of the Night Wolves Run to Berlin. Here’s the translation of an eyewitness report on what they saw was going on there:

    “The Nochniye Volki MG in Berlin

    Berlin, Germany – On 9 May 2015, festivities on the occasion of the end of WWII took place in the German capital. The Russian and ethnic Russian population gathered in Treptow Park to celebrate Victory Day, which marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union. At 10am, around 150 bikers met at the agreed meeting place. There were no police controls. Even so, a large number of police vans were on site. The majority of the bikers were ethnic Russians from Germany, Switzerland, the Czeck Republic and some bikers from Russia. German bikers were definitely the minority. An escort vehicle of the Russian bikers as well as a black VW van of the diplomatic corps were on site as well.

    At around 10:30am the bikers were permitted to start towards the memorial in Treptow Park in groups of 20, each group was escorted by a police van. Once they arrived there, the bikers went to the memorial service on foot. Before the entrance gate there were stands that provided tracts and memorial images, but also groups of people who distributed political treatises. Most of the Russian and ethnic Russian civilians had their Sunday clothes on, many came with their historic uniforms. People brought flags and one group carried banners with photos of fallen relatives. At the memorial there were large posters describing the history of the memorial service as well as additional political treatises. The atmosphere at the square was peaceful and resembled a large family gathering. At some places, musicians played Russian folk songs. At other places, the attendants had a picnic (in Russia, this is not considered a sacrilege but rather an integral part of memorial services). A small peace demonstration took place which was accompanied by John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

    Sometime later, the members of Nochniye Volki MG under the leadership of their president Alexander Saldonstanow (aka the ‘Surgeon’) arrived on site. They were received with applause, flags were woven, people started to chant a folk song and the bikers were honored by calling them “great men”. The procession moved on to the statue of the soldier with a child on his arm and the broken swastika. There, the embassies of many former Soviet Union republics had already laid down wreaths. The members of Nochniye Volki MG commemorated the fallen and laid down a wreath. The Russian ambassador Wladimir Grinin was on site, too. He said it was important to commemorate the end of the war – “for us and for everyone”. Many people waved Russian flags.

    The police estimates the number of attendants at around 5,000.”

    Respect to those who deserve it,

  27. Dasein Says:

    Wonder if these guys have thought about a merger with the io. Putin rides a trike. I can see obummer in his mom jeans and fresh jughead cut, riding bitch with wookie.

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