Russia’s parliament has advanced sweeping spy legislation targeting civil groups that work with foreigners to upset domestic politics in what rights groups call another attack on freedoms.
Friday’s near-unanimous lower house vote in the first of three readings came on the heels of President Vladimir Putin’s decision to ram through a law branding as “foreign agents” local groups with funding from abroad.
Former spy Putin accuses Washington of funding the wave of protests that rose against his dominant 12-year rule this winter and recently saw the foreign ministry shut the door to the USAID development agency’s work in Russia.
The State Duma’s action passed without notice from the state media and was only reported in detail by the respected Vedomosti business daily on its website.
The paper noted that the bill was initially introduced to parliament by Putin’s cabinet in 2008 when he became prime minister upon completing the two successive Kremlin terms allowed by the constitution.
Source and full story: Raw Story: 22 Sept 2012