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‘This is a religious and spiritual war. God is on our side, that’s for sure.’
The Russian motorcycle club the Night Wolves first made international headlines in 2014, fighting as a paramilitary group alongside pro-Russian forces during the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. Although the Night Wolves formed as an anti-Soviet countercultural group during perestroika, today they’re sometimes called ‘Putin’s Angels’, having embraced the potent mix of Orthodox Christianity, nationalism, hypermasculinity and Soviet nostalgia that drives the Russian president’s base.
Produced in 2015, this short film follows several Night Wolves living in rebel-held Luhansk in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. There in support of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), a breakaway, pro-Russian proto-state, the roughly 50 group members train with weapons, ride flag-draped Harley-Davidsons through the streets, romanticise the Soviet past, and dream of future glory. Skilfully observed, the documentary by the UK directors Jack Losh and Sebastien Rabas is at once a singular glimpse into the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine and a powerful study of the forces that drive ultranationalism.
Mood and emotion
A century of letters captures the emotions of life in a new city, far from home
Ageing and death
Death is a trip – how new research links near-death and DMT experiences
Photographs of rainforests dissolving in acid strike a beautiful note of warning
Technology and the self
Adaptive technologies have helped Stephen Hawking, and many more, find their voice
Ecology and environmental sciences
Experience the dazzling displays that fireflies create when humans are far away
Gender and identity
‘When you’re done, you stay human!’ What gender transition means to John
Stories and literature
Solaris and beyond – Stanisław Lem’s antidotes to the bores of American sci-fi
Before the Beatles dropped acid, a BBC workshop was creating far-out sounds
Is paying with hand-drawn banknotes artistry or forgery? The knotty case of J S G Boggs