|Leader||Alexander Zaldostanov (nicknamed ‘The Surgeon’)|
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. 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. 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. 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 and becoming involved with the Russian Orthodox Church. In March 2014, The Daily Telegraph reported that the club had developed close ties to Vladimir Putin and has a generally pro-Russian sentiment. 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.
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.
- Alsop, Harry. Meet the Night Wolves – Putin's Hell's Angels, The Telegraph, March 2, 2014. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Romriell, Lucas (January 2003). "The Wolfmen". Cycle World: 90–91.
- Kates, Glenn (August 11, 2014). "Sevastopol's Olympic-Sized Take On Ukraine: Bikers, Ballet, And Swastikas". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- Seddon, Max (August 11, 2014). "Watch The Pro-Putin Rally Where The War In Ukraine Was Performed By A Motorbike Gang". BuzzFeed.
- Parfitt, Tom. , The Telegraph, November 14, 2012. Accessed May 30, 2014.
- Media related to Night Wolves at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (Russian)
- "Forms of Delirium", article by Peter Pomerantsev in the London Review of Books, Vol. 35, No. 19, 10 October 2013, pp. 5–7