With 226 votes necessary to pass the bill, 429 State Duma deputies backed the initiative.
President Vladimir Putin asked parliament for broader anti-terrorist powers in the wake of the abduction and murder of five Russian diplomats in Iraq, allegedly by an al-Qaeda-linked group. Last week, he ordered special forces to hunt down and "destroy" the killers, and offered a $10 million reward for information leading to their capture.
The bill, drafted following Russia's ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, introduces amendments to the counter-terrorism law as well as to the penal code, and the laws on the media, communications, and money laundering.
It reinstates a provision allowing the state to seize property from people charged with major crimes such as treason, espionage, seduction, hostage-taking, kidnapping, drug and human trafficking, extortion, money counterfeiting, and smuggling of materials and technologies that could be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.
The bill also puts restrictions on mass media coverage of anti-terror operations, designating the leader of an operation as the only person entitled to provide reporters with any related information.
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.