Vladimir Putin has been granted permission to build a new super army to eliminate Islamic State (ISIS) both in Russia and abroad.
The National Guard force will be put under the Russian president’s command and will be given extremely controversial powers, including a licence to shoot into crowds of people during terrorist or hostage situations – a method which has until now been banned because of the risk of killing bystanders. The mega army will also be permitted to hold suspects indefinitely for interrogation.
The actions will be part of a larger counter-terrorism operation aimed at getting information from ISIS, the Express reports.
The army will be used to conduct military operations around the world, including anti-ISIS combat action in the Middle-East, and will detain terror suspects for as long as necessary in order to gain intelligence before handing them over to police.
The ruthless force is being deemed as an ‘extension’ of Putin himself.
The former KGB leader was given the green light by Russia’s parliament for the mega unit today, which will be headed by his former bodyguard Viktor Zolotov, according to the Express.
The first reading of the bill was passed by Russia’s State Duma with 345 parliamentarians voting for Putin’s army, and only 14 against.
But some people fear that the new force is so closely associated with Putin that it could become ‘a continuation of Putin himself’.
Russian sociologist Ella Paneyakh said:
The National Guard is not just another law enforcement agency.
This is another army, with the right to conduct military operations on the territory of the country and against the country’s citizens.
It looks like they can seize anyone and keep them as long as they want, wherever they want, until they are handed over to the police or a court.
Considering how intense Putin can be, putting him in charge of a powerful army with very loose rules in regards to torture and killing could prove to be a tad risky. On the other hand, it could eliminate a good portion of ISIS fanatics.