Night Wolves

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Night Wolves
Ночные Волки
Nochnye Volki
Night Wolves logo.jpg
Formation 1989
Type Motorcycle club
Location
Membership over 5,000[1]
Leader Alexander Zaldostanov (nicknamed ‘The Surgeon’)[1]
Website www.nightwolves.info
Night Wolves
Vladimir Putin and Night Wolves biking in Novorossiysk

The Night Wolves (Russian: Ночные Волки, tr. Nochnye Volki) are a Russian motorcycle club.[2]

The club slowly took shape out of a mixture of rock music fans and motorcycle enthusiasts who held then-illegal rock concerts in Moscow (see Censorship in the Soviet Union) as far back as 1983.[3] By 1989 the club was consolidated as an informal motorcycle group bearing the name "Night Wolves", during the Perestroika era of the Soviet Union. It became the first official bike club in the USSR.

The club established several chapters in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia.[2] Alexander Zaldostanov (also known as The Surgeon) became the leader of the club in 1989.

The club runs multiple rock clubs and arranges many rock concerts in Russia. It also runs several tattoo parlors and is one of the founders of the annual International Moscow Tattoo Convention. In 1995, they launched a clothing line, "Wolf Wear," and established the "Wolf Engineering" custom shop subsidiary. It has gathered mechanics and general motorcycle enthusiasts from all across Russia, runs several motorcycle repair and custom shops and also developed the Wolf-Ural (Волк-Урал) motorcycle together with the manufacturer IMZ-Ural.[4] Another subsidiary is the racing team "Wolf Racing" which was created in 2001 and participates in and organizes various events in Russia.

The club has long taken an interest in the political and social life of Russia, engaging in youth social issues[5] and becoming involved with the Russian Orthodox Church.[6] In March 2014, The Daily Telegraph reported that the club had developed close ties to Vladimir Putin and has a generally pro-Russian sentiment.[1] Their August 2014 show in Sevastopol, supporting the annexation of Crimea by Russia and depicting Ukraine as a country controlled by fascists, was attended by an estimated 100,000 people and broadcast by Russian state television.[7][8]

A member of the Night Wolves, Valery Bely, was shot and killed in a dispute with a rival biker gang, Three Roads, in November 2012.[9]

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