Georgia Refuses Entry To Pro-Putin Biker Group
The Night Wolves, Backed By the Kremlin, Fighting In Ukraine, Tried To Enter Tbilisi
The Georgian government refused to entry to a Russian motorcycle gang that is closely linked to Vladimir Putin – The Night Woles, AKA Putin’s Angels.
The gang is known for its open support for Russias’s illegal annexation of Crimea. It is said that some of its members fought on the Russian side. The United States has even imposed sanctions and restrictions on the Night Wolves over attacks they’ve made in Crimea and over their recruitment of fighters for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
“The country needs new patriotic stars, and the Night Wolves are helping the Kremlin rewrite the narrative.” – Wrote Russian journalist about the motorcycle group.
The so-called “Night Wolves” toured European countries in early May to mark end of World War II.
Despite being refused a week ago on May 9th, two of the gang members have arrived in Tbilisi illegally:
“We’ve come to pay tribute to the anniversary of the victory over fascism” – they declared. Regarding the transgressions, they implied “They were given a pass by the security policy and there were no violations of the law.”
“I’ve come for the veteran; he was crying. They are not getting enough attention. They cannot see your appreciation for the deeds they’ve done” – said the gang member to the press.
“We came here to pay tribute to the dead and veterans of the two nations, who were fighting for our freedom. To ensure that we would not become fascists. Do you doubt this? Have you taken such an interview from your veterans? Go to them and ask what they have done in those years! I see in your eyes that you are lying.” – he said to a journalist.
On the question concerning the illegality of their entrance, he answered – “I entered the country without breaking any law as the security of boundary gave me the permission without any problems.”
Georgian border guards denied entry to members of a controversial pro-Kremlin biker group, who reportedly intended to attend the May 9 ceremony in Tbilisi, marking the 72nd anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
“We have stated it clearly that we would not have allowed the organized groups of the so called Night Wolves in Georgia. The border officers repeatedly denied entry to [several] organized groups of the Night Wolves. As a result of the work of the Interior Ministry, the Night Wolves group failed to conduct the [planned] large-scale performance in Tbilisi,” the Ministry told Georgian News agency told Civil.ge on May 9.
“We will not welcome the future visits of these groups in Georgia,” the statement also said.
The Ministry, however, added that from two to three bikers “who had no signs of [belonging to] the Night Wolves group” managed to enter Georgia as tourists. The Ministry was, most probably, referring to the bikers who appeared in Vake Park in Tbilisi on May 9, where the memorial of the Unknown Soldier is located and where every year Georgian WWII veterans gather to commemorate the WWII anniversary.
The news sparked outrage in the local public; many citizens expressed their protest on Facebook and petition websites, with demands that the government prohibit entry of the “Night Wolves” to the country forever.