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Russian pro-Putin bikers set off on controversial "Victory Ride" to Berlin

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By Euronews
Russian pro-Putin bikers set off on controversial "Victory Ride" to Berlin

<p>Russian pro-Putin bikers are revving up controversy, as they take part in what’s described as a “Victory Ride” to Berlin.</p> <p>The ride has been organised to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.</p> <p>Members of “The Night Wolves” are among the riders – a group blacklisted by the US for taking part in Russia’s annexation of Crimea.</p> <p>“Twenty people set off from here. I think the convoy will become much bigger though. People will join us on the way,” said Alexander Zaldostanov, leader of the club.</p> <p>“Thirty-thousand Polish bikers have expressed their solidarity with us, their support.”</p> <p>From Moscow, the bikers plan to ride through Minsk and Brest, in Belarus, then through Poland and into Germany. </p> <p>But Poland says it will not allow “The Night Wolves” to cross its border and enter the European Union. </p> <p>Warsaw’s foreign ministry has refused to grant visas, citing a lack of information about the ride. Moscow claims the decision is politically motivated. </p> <p>The spat is likely to further strain bilateral relations – damaged by Russia’s recent role in the Ukraine crisis.</p>