Pro-Stalinist Communist Biker Gangs… SMH
Slovakia is emerging as the next political battleground between the West and Russia.
Atop multicolored motorcycles, nationalist Night Wolves bikers revved their engines outside the Russian embassy in Bratislava before driving 44 miles to establish their newest European base — in Dolna Krupa, a village in Slovakia, the former Eastern bloc nation that in the years since the Berlin Wall fell had mostly escaped Russia’s interference.
Their muffler-marked arrival in late June set off alarms in the capital, with the Slovak foreign minister saying the gang — which has called Stalin a hero and NATO a criminal organization — would be closely watched. More than 200 public figures penned an open letter asking the Slovak government to take action. But the biker gang remains, with officials saying they don’t have evidence to convict them of any crimes. Their stay in Slovakia is just one very visible sign of growing pulls and pressures between the country’s Western allies and an increasingly aggressive Russia trying to reclaim its old sphere of influence.
In July, Peter Marcek, an independent member of the Slovak parliament, led a 10-person delegation of lawmakers and businessmen to Crimea, publicly praising Russia’s presence there and suggesting the Ukrainian government was violating human rights in the region. Slovakia’s foreign ministry distanced the government from Marcek’s comments, saying in a statement that “the Slovak Republic still considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory.” The Slovak government has also diplomatically protested against Russian misinformation campaigns. And President Andrej Kiska has warned that the base is “a serious security risk.”