The Night Wolves, an infamous nationalist Russian motorcycle gang funded by the Kremlin, was spotted in Europe on Monday.
January 9 is celebrated as Republika Srpska Day in the Bosnian entity, although the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has twice declared the date unconstitutional.
The day marks the anniversary of the region’s 1992 declaration of independence, which ignited the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.
The leader of the event said they were members of a club that has been awarded multiple times in Russia and called them promoters of Orthodox Christianity who advocate that the Republika Srpska “be strong and eternal like Mother Russia.”
Members of the Night Wolves in recent years have often visited Republika Srpska, where they also have domestic representatives. They have visited on religious and secular holidays, and they also participated in the previous commemorations of Republika Srpska Day.
A group of young men at the parade, however, were seen carrying flags that they said represented Russia-backed separatists in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has repeatedly referred to members of the Night Wolves as “friends” and has made appearances at the club’s rallies.
The motorcycle gang, also known as Putin’s Angels, has been targeted by U.S. and Canadian sanctions for its support of the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia. Some members fought alongside pro-Russian rebels at the time.
Read also: Dodik awarded Putin in absentia with the highest award of Republika Srpska.
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