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VLAD and Vladimir bad for motorcyclists

Validimir Putin with the Night Wolves
Validimir Putin with the Night Wolves

VLAD laws and Vlad Putin are making it difficult for riders trying to debunk the penchant among police and legislators for social profiling of motorcyclists.

A Russian biker club that has close associations with President Vladimir Putin, plans to ride across several European countries to Berlin for a May 9 ceremony recognising the Red Army’s conquest of the city 70 years ago.

In these days where social profiling of motorcyclists is an issue in Australia and the US, this brazenly political and controversial ride is yet another thorn in the side for the profile of riders.

It’s difficult enough to argue against laws such as the draconian VLAD Act in Queensland without the profile of motorcycling being linked with crime and, in this case, notorious political issues and figures.

Russia’s Federation of Motorcycle Tourism has organised for several biker clubs to travel to Berlin for the May 9 commemoration of the allied victory in WWII. The ride will include members of the controversial Night Wolves bike club which has strong links to Putin.

In 2014, the Night Wolves rode to the Ukraine to support pro-Russian protests against the new government and deliver “humanitarian aid” to protestors.

Validimir Putin with the Night Wolves
Validimir Putin with the Night Wolves

Putin has ridden his Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic and Trike with Night Wolves on several, occasions and is a close friend of their leader Alexander Zaldostanov, nicknamed “The Surgeon”.

In 2013, Putin personally decorated Zaldostanov with a state honour after the group helped restore a monument symbolic of Soviet war heroism in the southern city of Volgograd.

In 2011, Putin led a column of the bikers on his Harley at a rally held on a former Soviet warship in the Russian Black Sea port city of Novorossiisk. The club’s aim is to “spread Russian influence around the world”.

The club will join the ride which is planned to start in Moscow and cross several countries including Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Germany.

However, Polish activists have started an official petition calling for their government to stop the bikers from entering Poland and have aligned with similar protesters in other countries. It is expected they will physically try to stop the riders.

The Russian Federation of Motorcycle Tourism has denied their event is political in nature and the Night Wolves president Alexander “the Surgeon” Zaldostanov told Russian press that they simply intend to commemorate the defeat of fascism.

It’s certainly not a good look for motorcycling.

  1. Australia lost some 28,000 during ww2, The Russians lost around 20 million
    China lost around 14 million. Germany and Japan have a lot to answer for
    even though Germany has accepted responsibility for its atrocities
    Japan certainly has not. I think the Russians and the Chinese have earned
    the right to celebrate however they like, and to hell with political niceties.

  2. This is not celebrating a victpry over fascism. On the contrary it’s a promotion of the new breed of Russian fascism.

    Note that it’s the Poles at the forefront of the protests. Not a people who have a great love for what Germany got up to.

    1. A lot of our politicians are are getting some pretty good mileage out of
      gallipolli at the moment and the turkish people with great patience put
      up with a lot of australians many wearing flags, celebrating the invasion of
      their country. No mention of fascism there. in spite of our invasion of iraq
      and afghanistan and involvement in vietnam.
      The americans do not exactly have clean hands when it comes to interfering
      in the internal affairs of other countries.
      Political opportunism ? putin would not be the first politician guilty of that.

        1. Mark , we lost a bit over 8,000 men at Gallipoli,, australia
          was never invaded in either war.
          Russian losses both military and civilian were horrific
          as stated over 20 million.
          Do our losses eclipse this? Are russian lives less important?
          John howard was not shy about invoking the “anzac spirit”
          when he involved us in iraq based on the lie of weapons of mass destruction
          the resultant and continuing destabalisation and ever increasing death toll
          from those actions far outweigh anything happening in the ukraine.
          I am merely pointing out that putin is not the only one to rely on
          blind flag waving jingoism,

  3. Unfortunately Mark, I`m very disappointing by your very unilateral opinion on this issue. I always saw this website as a neutral source of information for motorcycle riders but now your are directly promoting capitalism and the American exceptional ism. Unfortunately in several of days you will celebrate the people that you (Australians) sent to Turkey to kill them. Not to mention that right now Australia`s war planes and soldiers are killing civilians in other parts of the world and that the politicians you see so just and fair are supporting everything.

    Also, please offer some more details about the relationship between Putin`s ride and the draconian VLAD laws and the Orwellian style of leadership seen in Australia? The law are a direct consequence or your (Australians) indifference to the very dictatorial future that it is being prepared for us. Stop picking on Putin and other country and start fixing your country.

    Too bad….

    1. I think you’ve entirely misinterpreted the point that motorcycles getting mixed up in politics only makes it more difficult for we riders to avoid political scrutiny.

      1. Mark, motorcycles will allays be mixed up with politics…it is inevitable. These type of articles draw attention to what we are trying to stay away not educate like you probably hope. By posting it here you just generate more exposure and also present the idea to the public.
        Also, there is no foundations for your claims that this event is going to generate a negative impact on OZ riders I don`t think anyone will care, or at least that is what I hope. It promotes hate and at the end of the day, there is nothing wrong if a politician has friends in a 1% motorcycle club. It is call freedom of choice, something that in Australia is long gone. As long as the public continue to offer their vote it means that their are OK with it so why should we judge?!

        What I`m trying to say is that our country is going down the drain and am very anointed when everybody knows how to criticize others but unable to fix ours.

      2. I would just like to say i am no supporter of putin
        and stalin was nothing but a butcher
        But the fact remains that without the huge sacrifices
        of the russian people, the world would be a very different
        place. This fact has had a tendency to be overlooked by just
        about everybody. Especially the americans.
        The russsian people, and i mean people, have every right
        to celebrate , and if this happens to upset the germans
        so be it

    2. Daniel, your criticisms have no credibility if you don’t reveal where you live, and what your own values, beliefs and ideals are. You may be correct. On the other hand you could be part of a radical and very biased group.

      We are not celebrating what happened in Turkey 100 years ago on ANZAC Day. We are remembering and acknowledging how terrible that event was, and honouring those who suffered and died there.

      1. Hi MotoRain,

        You are correct… let me tell you a short story and maybe more of you will come to understand why I say what I say.

        I come from Romania, a former Soviet country that experienced the most brutal and violent communist revolution in modern history in December 1989. That is when we became a democracy and that is when we started going down. That is the moment that most of the people living there regret even today, because in the last years it has been discovered that the revolution was actually fake. A really good play on the world theater by some very powerful countries, very similar to what happened in Ukraine last year. We lost our character, our system, our way of life was changed to a universal model. Our freedom taken away, our power of decision and of choice. We used to be a great nation with great people…now it’s just a patch of land full of consumers for the EU and US markets, medical experiment subjects and mercenaries to fight their wars. Don`t think for a moment that the people are living better… the poor social class has been increasing from day to day while just a few are having it better and better.

        Fortunately, this give me an advantage over you and that is the experience of social disorder and the signs of totalitarianism, something that most Australians haven`t experienced.
        I came to Australia not only to find a better life or to run from corruption and a very poor system but I came here looking for something that has disappeared there (Romania), social freedom, true democracy, national pride and respect for others.
        Don`t get me wrong, I love this country and I respects it`s people, culture and beliefs and probably it`s why it hurts me to see the same things that happened in my old home happening here and this country slowly turning into an America. I hate this idea of a universal society that its being created where everyone has to be the same and follow the same rules always comparing ourselves with others. Those people have been living like that for 1000 of years, who are we to judge them and /or try and change them if they themselves don`t want it? Why do you let the actions of one individual affect all of us?

        Now, let me argument my claims:
        The VLAD laws where we all suffer for the mistakes of some individuals. These are signs of a lazy government and a poor social equality model where it is easier to punish them all instead of finding the real problem. It is the foundation of dictatorship, with the government playing as the dictator disregarding the welfare of the mass and takes harsh actions just to silence them in order to look good on the international stage by promoting the good intentions without mentioning the massive negative effect that it has.

        The exceptionalism model plays a vital role in this type of culture, where one needs to think that it is better that the other and that he knows best. Like something I saw on the news where a kid died in an accident and the parents started a campaign to change the rules for everybody.
        Why change my life it you are an idiot? When I saw that I thought that people will voice their disapproval but I was terrified to see that everyone saw that as OK. So now one single family will dictate who your kid will be raised, without anyone actually realizing how wrong that is.

        I mentioned the Orwellian style of leadership because: “ “Orwellian” is an adjective describing the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the “unperson” – a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments.”

        Surveillance: NSA, ASIO, data retention laws….
        Denial Of truth: Invasion of Iraq and others without any evidence…etc.

        AS I said in the previous post:
        Stop picking on Putin and others and start fixing this country.

  4. Talking about sad stories, communism and personal background. In my countrie “Victory Day” is not widely celebrated.
    Lithuania was removed from the map by Soviet Union from 1939-1941 and from 1944-1990. In addition with the after-effects pete has mentioned, we have also lost almost half of our population due tue deportations and executions – Lithuanian Genocide by Soviet Union.

    Basicaly we lost 7% of our population because of Nazi Germany and 47% because of Soviet Union. (Also some Lithuanians were drafted into Wehrmacht, some to the Red army, most of them against their will.) P.s. one of my grandfathers fought in Red Army during the war, another was Anti Soviet Partisan after the war and i have great respect for both of them and all other fighters whether they were Russian, German, Australian or other. But not these loudmouth bikers or other chauvinists using the event for personal gain.

    When the Russians (i mostly mean Putins followers) act as the good guys and saviors of the world, it just doesn’t seem fair. War doesn’t have winners, it only has survivors.

    I think politics should not be asociated with biking or at least not shoved into a face of a person who doesn’t agree with you.

    By the way – great blog 🙂

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