MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Members of the Russian Night Wolves biking movement, who had a motor rally of a number of East-European and Central European countries in the days preceding Victory Day (marked on May 9 in Russia) were joined by about 3,000 fellow-bikers from all over Europe in Berlin to lay flowers at the monuments to Soviet soldiers, the founder the president of the movement, Alexander Zaldostanov said on Wednesday.
"This rally became a very special one for us and for the Europeans, too," he said at a news conference at TASS headquarters. "The more barriers we faced as we were trying to enter the European Union, the more people wanted to join us, and fifteen bikers turned into 3,000 as a result when flowers were laid at the Liberator Soldier monument in Berlin’s Treptower Park.
The leader of the rally, Alexander Bobrovsky, said the bikers’ action had been exceptionally peaceful, with a historical backbone element.
"We did it only for the purpose of showing respect for our grandfathers and great-grandfathers and demonstrating our awareness of historic events," he said.
The Night Wolves left Moscow on a biking voyage timed for the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II on April 25. Its route lay across a number of European cities and to end in Berlin.
However, participants in the action bumped into problems from the very start. For instance, the Polish authorities warned them a day before the departure that they would be denied the entry of Poland, the first of the Schengen area countries on the way.
The German authorities also made public their plans to ban the Wolves’ entry of Germany. At the end of April, they annulled the entry visas of a number of members of the club.
Nonetheless, the bikers reached the Belarusian-Polish border on April 27. Polish border officials did not let them into the country, thus inviting criticism from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which dismissed their actions as ungrounded and audacious ones.
Yuri Vassilyev, a member of the Night Wolves movement was forced to disembark ferryboat en route from Helsinki to Trawemuende in Germany on May 3 under the pretext the real objective of his stay in the Schengen area stood at variance with the initially stated purpose of the visit.
Nonetheless, the Night Wolves got to Berlin on May 8. They had a tour of the Berlin-Karlhorst German-Russian museum there, among other events.