The National Guard force – which was approved by the Russian parliament today – will be put under the strongman’s personal command. It will be used for major counter-terrorism operations across the planet and have vast powers, including the authority to shoot into crowds and hold suspects for indefiite interrogation.

Experts say the ruthless force will act as an “extension” of Putin himself. It will be used to conduct military operations around the world, detaining terror suspects for as long as is necessary to glean intelligence from them before handing them over to the police. The former KGB leader was today given the green light by Russia’s parliament for the elite unit, which will be headed by his one-time bodyguard Viktor Zolotov. READ MORE