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German Official: Russian Bikers Not Members Of Night Wolves

  • RFE/RL

A Russian biker shows a banner depicting Josef Stalin and a World War II slogan "For the Motherland! For Stalin!" in Moscow last month.

A Russian biker shows a banner depicting Josef Stalin and a World War II slogan "For the Motherland! For Stalin!" in Moscow last month.

A spokesman for Germany's Interior Ministry has said there is no evidence that the Russian bikers who entered Germany on May 3 were part of the nationalist Night Wolves group.

The pro-Kremlin Night Wolves have stated their intention to commemorate the Russian and Allied victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago in World War II by riding their motorcycles to Berlin.

Some EU officials expressed criticism of their plans and Poland denied them entry, reflecting strains over Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said May 4 that German police checked the IDs of 10 bikers who came in through Austria but found "no concrete evidence of any links to the so-called Night Wolves."

Plate said the bikers appeared to be sympathizers, not members, of the nationalist group.

The German government canceled the visas of a handful of people believed to belong to the group's leadership.

In neighboring Austria on May 2, two group members laid a wreath at a monument to Soviet soldiers in Vienna.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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