Russian Biker Gang Receives Presidential Grants for Children's Shows

Leader of the motorcycling club Night Wolves Alexander Zaldostanov

Russian nationalist biker gang the Night Wolves have received 9 million rubles ($128,000) in presidential grants to organize New Year's shows for children at their bike club, the Kommersant newspaper reported Thursday.

“[The show] will explain the historical and spiritual heritage of Russia and Russia's challenges in a clear, fairytale manner for children,” according to the Night Wolves' grant application, newspaper reported.

Tickets for the event — costing 1,500-2,000 rubles ($22-29) — have already sold out, the club's events organizers reported.

In October, the Night Wolves were given 12 million rubles ($190,000) worth of grants to build the “Patriot” youth center in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

The Night Wolves are a patriotic biker gang that champions President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. They are staunch supporters of Putin's policies, most notably Moscow's annexation of Crimea last year.

The group gained international notoriety in May when they rode their bikes from Moscow to Berlin to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

In total, 4.2 billion rubles ($61 million) have been given out to NGOs through the presidential grants system in 2015.

Along with pro-government movements, grants were also given to NGOs listed as “foreign agents” — a label given to organizations that receive funding from abroad and engage in loosely defined "political activities."

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