Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, has backed a controversial bill to extend the powers of the country’s main intelligence agency, the FSB.
Under the legislation, the service would be able to issue formal warnings to anyone whose actions it believes could lead to a crime. Supporters say this will help tackle terrorism and extremism.
Human rights groups claim it could be used to intimidate opponents of the government. They fear the FSB is being given powers like those once wielded by its Soviet-era predecessor, the KGB.
Critics of the Kremlin already complain that free speech is being stifled in modern-day Russia.