Night Wolves cause uproar in Slovakia
Nochnye Volki (Ночные Волки or Night Wolves) bikers have recently caused an uproar in Slovakia as they take up residence in a military styled base.
It has been reported by the Hospodarske Noviny, that the Night Wolves branch in question is lead by Jozef Hambalek. They further claim that Hambalek is the owner of the property and is a friend of Robert Kalinak, a former Slovakian Interior Minister.
Hambalek reportedly wants to open a museum at the base, as the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Pacts invasion of Czechoslovakia approaches.
According to Police Corp Presidium spokesman Michal Slivka, the military equipment at the base are historical exhibits and are expected to be exposed and accessible to the public in Autumn.
Slivka also stated that part of the camp is owned by a civic association apart of the Voluntary Fire Protection of the Slovak Republic. Which under the Fire Protection Act has devoted itself to retro-fitting old military assets to become functional firefighting equipment.
“These are vehicles that are incapable of firing. As we have emphasized on several occasions, we are monitoring the whole situation.” Slivka explained, mentioning that they were looking out for illegal activity but had not yet recorded any offence.
The Night Wolves have a controversial history associated with them. The pro-Russian biker club, in a report by the Moscow Times, received 12 million rubles from the Russian Government to construct a Patriot youth centre in Sevastopol Crimea.
This follows a report by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalniy, that shows the biker gang had received 56 million rubles between 2013 and 2014 to present pro-Russian and anti-Western shows.
The Moscow Times further reported on the presentations “One of the shows featured a character that represented the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty has kidnapped Snegurochka, Russia’s snow maiden, in an attempt to ruin Russia. The show came to a close as Russian forces claim victory with a hero proclaiming that the country will always defeat it’s foes”
The Night Wolves, several of their businesses, and it’s leader Alexander Zaldostanov have found themselves sanctioned by both the US Treasury Departments Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Canada.
The reason for the sanctions are over reports that the Sevastopol branch of the Night Wolves was involved with the Crimea Crisis by blocking main roads into Sevastopol. Along with attacks on a Natural Gas plant and a Naval base in the area.
“They’ve come to irritate democrats and recruit people who are capable of shooting at Ukraine,” Slovak oppositionist and communist-era Charter 77 signatory Jan Budaj told journalists. “They’re bringing a message aimed at disrupting the EU and dissolving NATO.”