The Night Wolves, who had planned a victory ride from Moscow to Berlin in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, were denied entry to Poland on Monday.
Wegrzyn stated that Polish bikers will trace the Russian bikers' route through Poland, which had planned to visit cemeteries and memorials along the way: "We will go along the same route, and will be laying flowers and lighting candles."
Commenting on the propaganda, hysteria and paranoia that has blown up around the Night Wolves in Polish media and among the political elite, Wegrzyn noted that the Polish bikers' "position is clear: we must welcome our guests." He added that "my reaction to all these events is purely human. I do not tolerate boorishness, no matter whom it comes from, governments included."
Wegrzyn also recalled that his Katyn Rally, an annual trip winding through Poland, Belarus and Russia, has gone through without a hitch over a dozen times already: "I would like to draw attention to the fact that there have already been 14 Katyn rallies. At every step we are met with kindness and warmth, especially from bikers (who are quite obviously an international brotherhood) and from ordinary people on the streets, along the entire journey. We are met sympathetically by the police, who assist us in passing easily through Moscow and St. Petersburg. Moscow is a huge transport hub –a megapolis. There we move freely in the afternoons with police assistance."
The Katyn Raid commander noted that while in Russia, "we visit cemeteries, including the old Don cemetery near the tomb of General Okulicki [a Polish Army Commander killed following the Second World War by Soviet security forces]. We travel to the cemeteries of Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava –great friends of the Poles. We visit the memorial at Butovo, the home of the graves of Russian intellectuals killed by the communists. The police help us along the way. No one hinders us, and on the border special express transit points are created for us, just like for diplomats, and we never have any problems."
Last week, at the opening of the summer motorcycle season, Wegrzyn called on Polish bikers to show solidarity with their Russian counterparts; Polish bikers vowed to ensure the Russians a safe and hospitable environment on their journey through Poland.
On Monday, Polish border guards subjected the Night Wolves to thorough checks at the Belarusian-Polish border at Terespol, before deciding to refuse them entry, either collectively or as individuals, despite their Schengen visas.