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Pro-Putin Bikers Lay Wreath In Vienna

Night Wolves bikers on the road in Slovakia

Members of a nationalistic Russian biker club have laid a wreath at a monument to the Russian soldiers who liberated Vienna from the Nazis.

The pro-Kremlin Night Wolves are on a ride commemorating the Russian and Allied defeat of Nazi Germany 70 years ago in World War II with a ride from Moscow that is meant to end in Berlin May 9.

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

Police estimated that about 500 spectators turned up for the event on May 2.

Among those attending was Russian Ambassador Sergei Nechayev, who thanked Austrian authorities for making the tribute possible.

The Night Wolves support Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has ridden with them, and backed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa