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FSB - Supressing Dissent

Harassment of domestic critics, ecologists and certain other groups indicate a resurgence of FSB internal power. The nation's leadership appears to be increasing its political support for the FSB. This may enable it to reestablish its bureaucratic authority over security and CI. In addition, the expulsion of a British businessman and the press articles highlighting the need for a stronger FSB suggest that the FSB will also take a harder line against Western commercial or academic research in Russia.

On 01 December 1999 the Duma voted to expand the rights of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in combating terrorism and mass disturbances. It adopted a bill amending and supplementing Articles 13 and 15 of the law "On Federal Security Service bodies in the Russian Federation". The document, passed unanimously by 356 deputies, said that FSB organs may cordon off sectors of a locality or facilities to put a stop to acts of terrorism and mass disturbances, as well as during the search for persons who escaped from places of detention and the prosecution of persons suspected of committing crimes, the preliminary investigation of cases in charge of FSB bodies and the inspection of transport vehicles as necessary. FSB bodies are instructed to take measures to ensure the normal life of the population. Under the new law, FSB bodies can also restrict or prohibit travel by citizens and vehicles over individual areas and to oblige citizens to stay in these areas or leave them to protect their life, health and property.

Boris Nemtsov, a fiery critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a former first deputy prime minister once seen as a possible successor to former President Boris Yeltsin, was killed in Moscow 28 February 2015. He was 55. Nemtsov was shot dead on the street near the Kremlin from a passing car, the Russian Interior Ministry said. A dynamic and debonair politician who spoke nearly flawless English, Nemtsov was an ardent proponent of liberal economic reforms and rose to national prominence as the popular governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region in the 1990s.

Once dubbed the "golden boy" of Russian politics in the media, Nemtsov was later named first deputy prime minister by Yeltsin, a move that many interpreted as the Russian leader's bid to groom his heir to the Kremlin. After Yeltsin handed over power to Putin, who was elected president in 2000, Nemtsov became a vocal critic of the new Russian leader.

The wife of Russian journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent opposition activist and Kremlin critic, says "acute poisoning" has left her husband gravely ill in a Moscow hospital. Yevgenia Kara-Murza said 07 February 2017 that doctors told her "an unidentified substance" caused massive organ failure in her husband last week. The rapid and sudden deterioration in his health, which reportedly occurred just hours before he was to leave Moscow for a trip to the United States, prompted hospital staff to place the 35-year-old activist in a medically-induced coma.

Yevgenia Kara-Murza said her husband's collapse last week resembled a near-fatal bout of kidney failure that he suffered two years ago. At the time, Vladimir Kara-Murza contended he had been poisoned, allegedly for political reasons. French scientists found elevated levels of heavy metals in his blood but were unable to identify any specific toxin.




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