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Putin-Backed Biker Group Night Wolves Will Get a New Residence

A woman cheering as members of the Night Wolves biker gang arrive at a World War II commemoration in Berlin.

The motorcycle group Night Wolves will be provided with state land and funds for building a new clubhouse in return for allowing their current base to be removed as part of construction of Russia's new parliament building, the RBC newspaper reported last week, citing Duma Deputy Vladimir Resin.

The motorcycle group's clubhouse in Mnevniki, which has served for 20 years as the group's headquarters, will be moved to Krylatskoye district in the west of Moscow. The Night Wolves, famous for its nationalist leanings, is well-known for its close ties with President Vladimir Putin.

The leader of the Night Wolves and the owner of the club in Mnevniki, Alexander Zaldostanov, nicknamed "the Surgeon," has confirmed the agreement, adding that "no amount of compensation can make up for what has taken 20 years of [my] life," RBC quoted Zaldostanov as saying.

The details of the deal between the Night Wolves and the Moscow government are still being negotiated, Zaldostanov said.

Earlier in May the local government of Sevastopol announced it would offer the Night Wolves 267 hectares of land at the rate of 0.1 percent of its actual price to build a multipurpose patriotic center for extreme sports, according to the decree, published on the city administration's website.

The decision to sell the land so cheaply may have been a hasty one, however. On May 23 Sevastopol authorities put a hold on their deal with the Night Wolves pending further review, according to a statement published on the city's website.

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