World

Thousands mark war's end at Soviet memorial in Berlin, including bikers in Night Wolves colors

  • Sympathizers of the Russian motorcycle club Night Wolves show posters of members of the motorcycle club with the sentence: 'They have managed to come to Berlin' as they pose for photographers and media at the Russian War Memorial to commemorate the end of World War II 70 years ago, at the district Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 9, 2015.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Sympathizers of the Russian motorcycle club Night Wolves show posters of members of the motorcycle club with the sentence: 'They have managed to come to Berlin' as they pose for photographers and media at the Russian War Memorial to commemorate the end of World War II 70 years ago, at the district Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian Ambassador to Germany Vladimir Grinin, second left, arrives to start a ceremony that commemorates the end of World War II 70 years ago, at the Russian War Memorial at the district Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 9, 2015.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Russian Ambassador to Germany Vladimir Grinin, second left, arrives to start a ceremony that commemorates the end of World War II 70 years ago, at the Russian War Memorial at the district Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • People arrive at a Russian War Memorial to commemorate the end of World War II 70 years ago, at the district Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 9, 2015.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    People arrive at a Russian War Memorial to commemorate the end of World War II 70 years ago, at the district Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Several thousand people have gathered at the biggest of Berlin's Soviet war memorials to mark the surrender of Nazi Germany, among them Russia's ambassador and bikers wearing the colors of the nationalist Night Wolves group.

Some carrying Russian or Soviet flags, people laid flowers at the huge memorial in Berlin's Treptow district. It includes a mausoleum topped by the figure of a soldier standing on a shattered swastika.

The pro-Kremlin Night Wolves' plans to ride from Moscow to Berlin to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war's end in Europe prompted controversy, particularly in Poland where officials denied them entry. German courts, however, ruled there was no legal reason to keep them away.

Bikers apparently from the group laid carnations Friday at the site where Nazi Germany's surrender was signed.