Staunton, August 18 – After the scandals of last year concerning direct Kremlin funding of motorcycle clubs (rbc.ru/politics/13/11/2017/5a096e299a794781998f3256), the latter, who continue to enjoy the support of Vladimir Putin, have found creative new ways to steal even more from the state budget, according to Sergey Yezhov.
Not only have they received presidential grants via indirect means but they have been given control of assets, often under cover names that hide where the money is going, that they are then free to sell at a profit to the population or even charge the population fees for making use of them, the Insider analyst says (theins.ru/korrupciya/112629).
In a new article, Yezhov documents case after case involving millions if not billions of rubles. But his most important finding is elsewhere. He shows that there is now an interpenetration of the supposedly “outlaw” biker culture and the upper reaches of the supposedly legitimate Russian state.
“Throughout the world,” he writes, “bikers are an informal counter-cultural movement which always is in conflict with the authorities and even more with law enforcement personnel. But with regard to the Night Wolves [as the most prominent biking group in Russia are known] this is not the case.”
Instead, senior officers and politicians are involved directly with the bikers. In Istra, for example, the leader of the Night Wolves there is the former deputy head of the Federal Protective Service, Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lunkin who is close to Yevgeny Murov, the former head of the special services.
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