The Night Wolves: Russian Biker Gang or Putin’s Personal Militia?

The Night Wolves: Russian Biker Gang or Putin’s Personal Militia?


The United States may have the feared and
dreaded Hells Angels, but over the last two decades Russia has groomed its own feared
motorcycle club- the Nochnye Volki, or The Night Wolves. With clubs all over Europe and running a mini-conglomerate
of 60 different businesses, the Night Wolves may not be as widely dispersed as the Hells
Angels, but with their ties directly to Vladimir Putin and taking part in the attempted assassination
of Montenegro’s president, what they lack in size compared to the Angels they make up
for in ambition. But who are these feared Russian bikers, and
are they really nothing more than another tool of the Russian government as it wages
a new generation of asymmetrical warfare against its neighbors? The Night Wolves began as a group of metal
heads in the early 1980s, who mixed their love of Western heavy metal with motorcycles. Quickly organizing illegal rock concerts in
Soviet Union-era Moscow, the group became the bane of Soviet police forces, until changes
brought on by perestroika- or the backing off from centralized economic planning by
the Communist Soviets- allowed the group to form as Russia’s first official motorcycle
club in 1989. Alexander Zaldostanov, the group’s founder,
was a former dental surgeon who modeled the group after America’s Hells Angels, going
so far as to translate the Hells Angels rule book into Russian and adopting it fully while
also making sure all members rode American Harley Davidson motorcycles. Delving into the criminal underground, the
Night Wolves also displayed a hard nationalistic streak, and when in August 1991 hardline communists
sent tanks to try to topple Gorbachev’s government, the Night Wolves manned barricades that helped
secure the Russian parliament. For their efforts Gorbachev awarded Zaldostanov
a medal, and began a close relationship between the Russian government and the outlaw motorcycle
gang that lasts to this day. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the
adoption of free market ideologies in Russia, the Night Wolves quickly expanded their operations
and opened a club called The Sexton in Moscow, modeled after a club with the same name in
West Germany in which Zaldostanov had worked as a bouncer. They also launched the “Wolf Wear” clothing
line and a tattoo parlor and biker shop, while also starting to offer their services to local
Russian rock bands as security. Following the Hells Angels play book page
by page, the Night Wolves quickly began offering security services and protection for businesses
trying to avoid shakedowns from corrupt local police and other gangsters, eventually running
their own protection racket. Business owners faced a simple choice: pay
the Night Wolves to protect you from corrupt police and gangsters, or be at the mercy of
these corrupt police and gangsters, as well as the Night Wolves themselves! Starting in the early 2000s however Zaldostanov
began to transform the group, ditching many of their ties to Western organizations and
traditions based on Western motorcycle clubs such as the Hells Angels. Their transformation saw them become staunchly
anti-western, and adopt a hardline nationalistic ideology that promoted extreme Russian patriotism. At the same time they adopted strong ties
with the Russian Orthodox Church, even sponsoring motorcycle pilgrimages to Orthodox holy sites
and using the imagery of a 14th century Orthodox monk named Alexander Peresvet. Peresvet had died fighting against a Mongol
invasion, and his death turned him into a martyr that inspired a much smaller force
to defeat a large Mongol army in a later battle. Persvet’s death turned him into a powerful
figure for Russian nationalists, and is seen as having helped throw off the yoke of Mongol
rule for what would become modern Russia. The Night Wolves deepening ties with the Russian
Orthodox Church helped pave the way to close ties with the Kremlin, as the current leader
of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill- otherwise known as Vladimir M. Gundyaev-
was exposed as cooperating with the KGB by former KGB defectors. We’re sure that the head of the largest religious
group in Russia being a former Russian intelligence asset is a complete coincidence however, and
not an obvious attempt to manipulate Russia’s religious people. Whatever the case, The Night Wolves found
themselves growing increasingly closer to the Russian government, with the motorcycle
club participating in a rally to commemorate the election of Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s
president- with Vladimir Putin conveniently named Prime Minister. Putin would go on to ride with The Night Wolves
at motorcycle rallies in Sevastopol and Novorossiysk in 2010 and 2011, although Putin would use
a three-wheeled Harley trike with neon lighting, which the world’s motorcycle fans immediately
pointed out was hardly bad-ass. For a man who regularly takes shirtless pictures
of himself horseback riding and shooting guns, the image of himself on a neon-lit tricycle
definitely missed the mark on bad-assery. However, Putin’s grooming of The Night Wolves
as an extension of the Russian government began in earnest during these public ride-alongs,
with Putin publicly thanking Zaldostanov for his service to Russia. In 2013 Putin would go on to award him the
Order of Honor medal for his efforts in youth patriotic education, and for honoring the
memory of the fallen from the Great Patriotic War- or World War II as it is known in the
rest of the world. If the words “youth patriotic education”
make you feel a twinge of revulsion and fear, then that’s probably because you don’t live
in a third-world dictatorship. The Night Wolves form of patriotism proved
to be just as toxic as any tin-pot dictator’s brand, with their education to the youth involving
the rejection of Western culture- despite proudly riding American Harley Davidson motorcycles-
strong anti-feminist views, and violent, hateful anti-gay propaganda. The deepening ties between the Kremlin and
the Night Wolves were made all the more obvious when Zaldostanov was chosen to be a torchbearer
at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, because if there’s any place in the world were a violent criminal
leader is honored by carrying the Olympic torch, it’s in Putin’s version of Russia. The Night Wolves flag was also carried aloft
to the International Space Station, where it was proudly displayed in the Russian section
of the ISS. While spaceflight is supposed to signify the
best of humanity, Putin decided that Russia’s contribution would be to proudly display the
flag of a criminal organization in humanity’s shared space habitat- a move that drew no
small amount of protest from Russian scientists and science enthusiasts. With the Kremlin’s backing though the group
has grown to over 7,000 members and has spread to over 50 chapters throughout Russia and
Eastern Europe. They have also expanded their services into
businesses that range from clothing to security services and even paramilitary training, while
holding and organizing patriotic rallies and entertainment which are broadcast on Russian
television. Yet for the more oblivious amongst us, the
question remains- are they really Kremlin agents? Outmatched militarily and economically by
its major competitors, Russia has recently adopted the doctrine of New Generation Warfare,
or as it is known in the west, non-linear warfare. This new military doctrine mandates the use
of non-governmental organizations in a direct military or quasi-military support role while
still maintaining the ability for the Kremlin to deny that their actions are directly sanctioned. The group’s first major operation as Kremlin
agents began during Russia’s annexation of Crimea, during which the group was active
a full week before the arrival of Russian special forces. They helped organize and man roadblocks and
checkpoints, distributed propaganda, collected intelligence, distributed weapons, and organized
protests and civilian self-defense units, all with the intent aim of supporting Russian
military action against the Ukrainian military. They were also active in intimidating local
Ukranian government officials and even captured and detained Ukrainian military officers. After the arrival of Russian special forces,
they participated in a raid on a Ukrainian naval base in Sevastopol and the takeover
of a natural gas distribution facility. They were also directly observed carrying
automatic weapons of military caliber and participating in joint operations with Russian
Spetsnaz units during March of 2014. After the successful annexation of Crimea,
Zaldostanov and 10 other members were awarded the official military campaign medal for the
takeover, a move which makes it a bit difficult to believe the Russian government wasn’t directly
sponsoring and ordering their activities. Since the initial campaign though the group
has continued carrying out the Russian government’s orders, being awarded a contract by the Russian
occupied city of Bakhchysarai in Crimea to provide “youth patriotic education”, which
is codespeak for Russian patriotic brainwashing with threats of violence. They also used their local chapters and social
media platforms as a front across Eastern Ukraine to recruit fighters to serve in pro-Russian
militias, and have even fought and died alongside these militias. Members of The Night Wolves are even being
used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Luhansk People’s Republic to provide police
and security services to include securing critical infrastructure. The Night Wolves also routinely produce patriotic
festivals and television productions under the official guise of “youth patriotic education”. These productions are broadcast on Russian
television and often feature blatantly anti-Western, specially anti-American, themes with heroic
Russian figures pitted in battle against corrupt and degenerate Western antagonists. In one such production which was broadcast
to millions of Russians on television, a character that looks exactly like the Statue of Liberty
attempts to kidnap the snow princess Snegurochka, a popular character in Russian fairy tales,
only to be thwarted by the Night Wolves. Reminiscent of Stalin’s propaganda, the Night
Wolves have also adopted strong Soviet values and ideology, even promoting Stalin as a national
hero- a move which doesn’t sit well with elder Russians who still remember Stalin’s purges
and the mass murder of millions of Russian civilians. In 2015 the Night Wolves were assigned a new
tasking by their Kremlin bosses, with the creation of a Russian anti-Maidan movement,
the intent of which is to prevent the reoccurence of the famed colour revolutions that brought
down the Soviet Union. Championing individual rights and democratic
values, the colour revolutions weakened the Soviet Union’s hold on its satellite states,
and a modern and increasingly authoritarian Russia sees the potential for a new revolution
as fatal to its ambitions to remain in power. Thus the Night Wolves were tasked with protecting
from any such potential revolution, with the express instructions to show resistance “to
the global satanism, the growing savagery of Western Europe, the rush to consumerism
that denies all spirituality, the destruction of traditional values, all this homosexual
talk, this American democracy”- as stated by Zaldostanov himself. The Kremlin however is far from satisfied
using the Night Wolves in Crimea or at home, and in 2018 organized a Night Wolves tour
through the Balkans, a region which Russia is very eager to reclaim for itself after
losing control after the fall of the Soviet Union. They specifically targeted the Serb-dominated
region of Republika Srpska, a breakaway region that covers about half of Bosnia-Herzegovina
and wants to secede. While the US and NATO oppose secession as
they consider it a threat to the stability of Bosnia, and could plunge the region into
a new and catastrophic war even larger than its previous conflict in 1992, Russia openly
endorses secession as it views it a chance to reclaim some of its lost political influence
in the region. Russia continues to deny any official link
between its government and military and the Night Wolves, yet in 2016 during its attempt
to overthrow the government of Montenegro due to its ambitions to join NATO, Night Wolves
members were implicated and indicted in the plan to assassinate its prime minister. Today the Night Wolves continue to spread
across Eastern Europe, though in 2018 the Slovakian government banned the creation of
new Night Wolves clubs in its country, with a Slovak intelligence officer commenting,
“At the height of the Cold War, the USSR threatened to overrun Europe with thousands
of massed tanks and millions of mechanized infantrymen. The best Moscow can do now is to send a bunch
of overweight, middle-aged bikers on Harleys to try to intimidate us.” The officer who wished to remain anonymous,
went on to say, “Russia still poses a threat to Eastern Europe, but the Night Wolves are
poseurs who are playing at being special forces. In a conflict NATO would make short work of
the Night Wolves… they are a myth, promoted by Moscow to compensate for the power that
it no longer has.” In the end there’s little doubt that the Night
Wolves are an arm of the Russian government, another tool in their New Generation Warfare
that allows Russia to try to influence countries it can no longer militarily challenge. Spouting extremist nationalistic views and
vitriolic hate speech against feminists and gays, the Night Wolves claim to be staunch
Russian patriots who place the motherland above all else and reject the inferior democracies
of the West- and yet the fact remains that the majority of its members still ride American
Harley Davidson motorcycles. If you thought this story was interesting,
check out our other video Dark Web’s Silk Road Website: Double Life Time In Prison – What
Happened?

100 thoughts on “The Night Wolves: Russian Biker Gang or Putin’s Personal Militia?

  1. What's the name of your local biker gang (also translate it to English if it's in some other language)?

  2. Killing the Montenegrian president hahahha man that was the biggest scam so he could remove fact that he is stealing our money for the pass 30 years.

  3. Well it's hard to judge them only by this video , there's needs to me two points of view from which you can summarize everything said .

  4. How dare the teach their children to have pride in their homeland. Next thing you know they will want to reject globalism.

  5. Some of your videos do give off the impression you're owned by the US government. I've been to Russia, ain't no one cheering at Gorbachev there, trust me. Glasnost and Perestroika were not popular.

  6. This video has been popping up in my recommendations for so long, but I have not watched it, because infographics show is known for wrong information. I finally watch this so it does not get recommended anymore.

  7. So these are the guys that was in Syria that got wiped out by Marines. "They slaughtered us like animals", said Russian militia.

  8. The only reason the US knows how to define non-linear warfare is because they've been using it against "terrorists" (aka countries with oil/without IMF banks) since the 40s. The US is the #1 sponsor of terrorism in the entire history of humanity

  9. Um I don’t mean to be a brat but is it really a “outlaw” motorcycle club if it’s in bed with the government like they suppose they are? I’m sorry that’s just the first thought I had 😂😂

  10. No matter how important these gangsters are – russians die and bleed like the rest of the world.

  11. Every country need a extremists group who are able to secure it's country culture and heritage from Islamic terror.

  12. why do you need to say always bad things about russia and not america, this is a history chanel not a commentary

  13. The biker gangs arose all 9ver europe after ww2.awhit soldiers rebuilding the choperr.
    We see the same.thing in ausa.aWhen trump got elected thousands of American bikers rose to support Trump and Usa

  14. Infographics trying hard to make russia look bad but jewish bankers are the ones behind it all on both sides.

  15. This is literally another news from your CIA operatives.
    You demonized Russia every chance you get..
    Maybe you should try looking inward first.
    Hypocrisy.

  16. Imagine if the tried to start up a club here in America. Every American biker gang south run them out so quick it would be funny.

  17. George Christie(“former” Hells Angles Chapter President)ran a leg with the Olympic torch for the LA Olympics, so it’s not just a only in Russia event. Also, Russia is far from a “third world country”.

  18. Philippines also has a Motorcycle club, and it's called "KAMOTE GANG"🤣😂 We Filipinos are the only one understands it

  19. This video is like americans trying convince themself they dont afraid of them while actually making this video proves they do 😀 and Harleys are like riding the enemy wives hahaha

  20. Is it me or did the infographic turned full SJW in recent year or so?
    Quality of its contents suspiciously is more and more… well pro-libtard like and less… well neutral like when I started to follow the channel. Shame…

  21. What are they driving the American motorcycles if they're trying to get rid of everything from Western culture.

  22. hey infographics show, i been watching your videos for a while and i was wondering, what software do u use to make your animation films????? f ypu dont mind sharing,

  23. It’s hilarious how you people won’t even consider the possibility that this video could have some truth behind it

  24. So when you make a video on Russian it American propaganda but when you make a videos on America it’s just a video man people need to stop watching YouTube conspiracy theorists

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