Putin’s rocker club Night Wolves only came as a copy

The cyclists did not travel from Russia. The troops with the leather costumes were nevertheless applauded at the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten.

Look angry: Motorcyclists from the Czech Republic.

Look angry: Motorcyclists from the Czech Republic.Andreas Copytz/Berliner Zeitung

Protesters can be creative. Especially when police requirements for demonstrations are to be circumvented. At the demonstration in Mitte on Tuesday, Russian and Soviet symbols and flags were banned. Several hundred people marched from the Brandenburg Gate to the Soviet War Memorial on Straße des 17. Juni in Tiergarten on Tuesday to commemorate the fallen Soviet soldiers.

They carried portraits of family members who had fought or died against Adolf Hitler. This year, the police had imposed drastic conditions. Also banned was the Saint George ribbon, a Russian military insignia consisting of a pattern of three black and two orange stripes. Demonstrators tied orange and black balloons together in response to the ban or carried the pictures of their relatives in frames made of black and orange battens.

The police monitored the demonstration with a massive contingent. The memorial was sealed off with bars. Whoever wanted to enter the area had to pass one of two checkpoints. The police searched every bag. There were sometimes heated discussions between visitors and police officers. Anyone who wanted to enter the memorial was not allowed to have a poster, a Soviet symbol or a part of their uniform with them.

“The police are dishonoring the life’s work of our fathers,” said a woman with carnations in her hand, which she wanted to put there. “These controls here are just ridiculous. We don’t want to demolish this memorial after all.” About 60 supporters of the Russian rocker club Night Wolves, whose chairman is a friend of Vladimir Putin, also came.

The Russian flag was then shown.  And the police refrained from lowering the flag for reasons of proportionality.

The Russian flag was then shown. And the police refrained from lowering the flag for reasons of proportionality.Andreas Copytz/Berliner Zeitung

Because of the Russian war in Ukraine, the original Night Wolves couldn’t get visas for the European Union. According to a police spokeswoman, the group of rockers that arrived was the German offshoot Nachtwölfe Germany MC. Czech and Polish Night Wolf supporters and some Russians who had lived in Europe before the war were also among them.

Putin's two-wheelers did not come from Russia this time.

Putin’s two-wheelers did not come from Russia this time.Andreas Copytz/Berliner Zeitung

The police did not allow them to ride in a closed formation, only in small groups. They also discussed the strict rules with the police officers. Two rockers had to hand in flags, another had to tape the Serbian flag on his sleeve with plaster. Because if you bend it, it looks like the Russian one.

The motorcyclists laid carnations and red roses to the accompaniment of cheers and applause from bystanders. Then they disappeared with his naturally sombre expression and went to their motorcycles, which they had to park a few hundred meters away. Her next stop to lay carnations was the memorial at Treptower Park.

The police were very satisfied with the course of the day on site.

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