http://gdb.rferl.org/fa0c5bb4-cac5-4370-98f6-84beb7b10227_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/fa0c5bb4-cac5-4370-98f6-84beb7b10227_mw800_mh600.jpg
A session of the Russian Duma (file photo) (AFP)
July 6, 2006 -- The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, has voted unanimously in favor of legislation granting the president powers to send forces abroad to fight terrorism.
The new legislation, which was approved on July 5, removes the constitutional requirement for the president to seek the approval of the upper chamber, the Federation Council, before using military forces in antiterrorism operations abroad.
President Vladimir Putin last week ordered special forces to hunt down the killers of four Russian Embassy staff murdered in Iraq.