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Russia’s National Guard to Carry out Compulsory Fingerprint Registration

Mikhail Pochuyev / TASS

Russia’s recently-formed National Guard police has been given the task of registering every citizen’s fingerprints in a national database by presidential decree, published online Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin signed the decree “On the Federal Service of Troops of the National Guard,” giving the force a range of new powers and responsibilities.

According to the document, the force will also work to develop safety measures to be used in civilian aviation and will be responsible for evaluating the defensive capabilities of buildings and other facilities against terrorist attacks.

The document also outlines the National Guard’s role in national defense, stating it will form a network of regional structures managed by a central office. The force would also operate alongside the military in defense projects and in times of war, it said.

Putin created the body in April, naming its primary duties as providing public order and territorial defense. Answerable only to the president, some experts speculate that its primary function is to suppress potential opposition protest actions.

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