Putin Russia bikers
Vladimir Putin rides with Alexander Zaldostanov, leader of Nochniye Volki (the Night Wolves) biker group. REUTERS/Ivan Sekretarev

A Russian nationalist biker gang have said that they want to ride to Berlin for a rally marking the anniversary of the end of World War II. Following on from their previous journey covering the same route in 2015 - which aims to retrace and re-enact the Soviet Red Army's march towards Berlin 70 years ago at the end of the conflict - the gang say they want to "remind" the world of Russia's role.

Last year, in 2015, Germany made the decision to ban leaders of the ultranationalist Russian motorcycle gang - whose translation is Nochnye Volki - from entering its territory. It followed the gang earning international scorn for their open support of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

The annual anniversary takes place in Berlin on Thursday (5 May) and marks the allies' victory over the Nazis at the end of the Second World War in 1945. Gang leader Alexander Zaldostanov, also known by nickname The Surgeon, said "We would like to remind Europeans that it was Russia that saved them from the fascist hell.

"It was first and foremost us - 30 million Soviets paid the price for this victory. We want people to remember this sacrifice," during an interview with Sky News, which was conducted at the Church of St Nicholas the Miracle Creator, an orthodox church in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria, as the convoy make their way across Europe, by bike, to Germany.

Sky News also asked Zaldostanov about the desecration and demolition of Soviet war graves in Poland, with the gang believing that "special forces" were trying to take the victory away from Russia in support of their number one enemy, the Polish government.

"This is a serious provocation. It is a provocation against truth. It goes against our conscience, against our honour, against our people. So many people died for the liberation of Poland and it will not go unnoticed," he said. Last week it was also reported that a further 500 Soviet War Memorials were due to be demolished in Poland.

However, in echoing the opposition that the Wolves faced in 2015, this year the Polish government claims it will set up its best efforts to not let them across the border for a second year in a row.

Putin Zoldostanov
Zoldostanov receiving a medal from Putin in 2013. Wikipedia

When asked their thoughts on Poland's proposed actions, one of the gang members simply replied "Whatever. We are going to go there anyway."

In the past, it has been widely stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is an official fan of the Night Wolves gang, regularly endorsing and riding with the gang on his own three wheeled Harley Davidson cycle. It had also been alleged that the gang's operations have, in part, been supported and funded by the Russian government.