Our travel team of 4 German friends was invited to meet Alexander Saldostanov ("Chirurg") and his Night Wolves ...
at their famous Bike Show near Sevastopol on Mount Gasforta. Nochni Volki = Night Wolves.
This video shows what we had to expect (in German).
This is what the UK Foreign Office travel warning had to say: "Advise against all travel"
We flew via Moscow to Anapa (on the Black Sea) and drove from there through the Eastern half of Crimea to Sevastopol (and later from Rostov-on-Don to Donezk) ...
over the brand new Crimean Bridge (Krimski Most) ...
which is 19 km long, crossing the Straits of Kerch (the Cimmerian Bosphorus) between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov ...
and was built by Putin's trustees in under 3 years (!) to complete Crimea's re-unification with Russia.
Then onwards on slow roads from Ukrainian times ...
parallel to a pipeline in the steppe landscape ...
until we reached Sevastopol ...
with its famous war monuments ...
some dating back to the infamous Crimean War (in 1853-1856, Crimea/Russia was attacked by England, France and Ottoman Turkey) ...
and today the location of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (the geo-strategic reasoning behind Russia's re-unification with Crimea).
Foto series outside a Russian government house in Sevastopol.
My personal motivation is DRUSCHBA (Friendship) and MIR (Peace) between GERMANY, RUSSIA, UKRAINE, and this is why:
"If we see that Germany is winning the war, we ought to help Russia; and if that Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible. . . ." Later US-President Harry S. Truman in 1941 (New York Times)
Last meters on the road ...
for a friendly welcome ...
by German Night Wolf Schulz ...
for the annual Bike Show on Mount Gasforta ...
where more than 100.000 spectators watched a Mad Max style Russian spectacle ...
in Las Vegas quality.
We met interesting personalities like the charismatic dentist/surgeon/biker/poet/producer Alexander Saldostanov, a larger-than-life character, and his team mate Sven ...
the popular Russian TV-Presenter Andrey K. ...
US-Russian MMA-Star Jeff Monson ...
or these elder Russian Navy generals.
The Night Wolves have a charta that forbids selling drugs, weapons or prostitution. Saldostanov is a messianic personality who was inspired by a Russian-Orthodox priest. (I am not sure though if all of the other testosterone-laden warrior figures around him are ideal to promote a message of peace. And if peace requires a fight, I don't think this will be a "bodily" fight. But that is only my opinion.)
The Night Wolves do a lot of charity. They definitely promote friendship between Russia and Germany. Their cooperation with the German Druschba peace tour initiative has a long tradition. (Foto: www.bikeshow.ru)
The intense pyro-horror-stunt show was like a deep, dark cry from a people that suffered from centuries of foreign attacks, oppression, slavery, and most important: Communism / Bolshevism ("the Snake" - which is the same like the US$-Federal Reserve System). (Start video at 03:30 !) The "Russian Dream" that Saldostanov describes, is the current awakening from the nightmares of the past. Idols like the first man in space, Juri Gagarin, give the Russians hope. And of course: President Putin !
That was Krim. Next stop on our Druschba Tour: Donezk ...
We flew with AIR ROSSIYA from Simferopol, Crimea's brand new International Airport, to the equally beautiful Rostov-on-Don International Airport, our gateway to the Donbass war zone. Both international airports in Donezk and Lugansk were destroyed by Western Ukrainian forces. Western Ukraine doesn't allow access to the Eastern parts. On the contrary, accessing the Donbass from Russia is punishable by Western Ukrainian laws.
CHAPTER 2: Separatist Café Donezk
In Donezk we stayed at the excellent 5-star Shakhtar Plaza Hotel ...
next door to the former Shakhtar Donezk stadium (this Champions League football club now plays from Lwow/Lemberg in Western Ukraine).
The Donezk Peoples Republic (DPR) is an autonomous state with functioning self-governance, including their own passports, flag and number plates.
Daily life away from the frontline is stable, organised and peaceful.
The DPR is now led by Alexander Sacharchenko, a former electrician and mining worker.
We met one of his top advisors, Alexander Kazakov (center), at the Separatist Café ...
where he showed us a map of the DPR areas which are currently occupied by Western Ukraine forces (marked DPR, on the left; the current frontline runs through Donezk, in the center of the map). Kazakov is one lonely fighter for "Deutungshoheit" in Donezk, against hundreds of paid Burson Marsteller PR-professionals in Kiev who run Ukraine's "Government" Press Center. And against thousands of transatlantic trolls who run Western war propaganda in "our" mainstream media, such as Julian Röpcke (BILD), Boris Reitschuster (FOCUS) or Nikolaus von Twickel (ex-Moscow Times, now sponsored by George Soros' Open Society & Renaissance & HIVOS Foundations, Council on Foreign Relations / DGAP, Austausch, Ukraine Verstehen, etc.).
The Separatist Café feels like Planet Hollywood, but this one is real.
We saw some of the Separatists war heroes on the wall, and in person (no foto taking possible). The Separatist Cafe was opened in December 2017 by Alexander Kostenko who is also the Head of the Peoples Soviet of the DNR. It is a disturbing fact that the Donezk & Lugansk Peoples Republics today are led by Soviet ideas, fighting against Nazi ideas on the other side (Azov, Svoboda, Pravi Sector). Both sides of this Diabolic (Hegelian) Dialectic should have been dumped in the garbage bin of history, long ago. International Socialism and National Socialism were born from the same womb (Lenin and Hitler were trained and financed by the same forces in Vienna, Munich, London, New York) ... a womb which is bloody fertile still !!!
We met this friendly couple at the Separatist Café, Hendrik and Mette from Norway, who are "Folkediplomati", a private initiative to report the truth from Russia without "government diplomacy" (= agitation, propaganda, fake news).
And we spent some time at the Donbass Palace to meet DPR leader Alexander Sacharchencko, but in the end he didn't come, because of a major attack at the Southern frontline. (Note the UN and OECD Landcruisers which are always parked in front of the hotel, for show purposes. These organisations are a complete waste of taxpayer money.)
The Donbass Night Wolves took us to the destroyed houses at the frontline - which cuts right through the West of Donezk ...
... near the completely destroyed Donezk International Airport (Foto: web).
Plenty of bullet marks everywhere.
The civilians on these fotos are less than 500 meters away from the Western Ukrainian positions. This "frozen conflict" remains a high danger area for both Donbass civilians and their security forces, with daily attacks by Western Ukrainian snipers and mortar grenades.
Along this frontline there are many graves of Donbass civilian casualties, including children.
A sad site for us visitors. Even more depressing that "our" Western governments lie to us about the real causes & effects of wars and that "our" Western media routinely turn around victims & perpetrators for their propaganda purposes.
SPASSIBO to the people in the Donbass for your friendly hospitality !!!
Very sorry to hear that less than 2 weeks after our visit, President Alexander Sacharchenko and his aide were killed by a bomb attack in the Separatist Café. (Sputnik News) Terrible ! Rest in Peace !
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Video "Ukrainian Agony" by Mark Bartalmai