Russian lawmakers approved new legislation Wednesday, Dec. 21, that could see "saboteurs" handed long jail terms, pointing to emerging terror threats -- including from foreigners -- amid the Ukraine conflict.

Moscow this year has introduced a raft of legislative action to quash any perceived threats at home against the Kremlin's nearly 10-month intervention in Ukraine.

The lower house of parliament said in a statement that lawmakers had approved in its third and final reading a package of measures aimed at "protecting our country and citizens from terrorist and sabotage threats."

"The Russian Federation is conducting a special military operation and at the same time accepting refugees and remains open for the entry and exit of foreign citizens," Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin was cited as saying in the statement, explaining the need for the laws.


"The punishment for saboteurs will be as severe as possible," he said, according to the statement.

The law, which will need to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin, envisages life imprisonment for involvement in sabotage activities, financing them or recruiting others to participate.

"Training in acts of sabotage and the creation of any kind of criminal group with the aim of committing sabotage will become criminally punishable," the statement added.

Anyone found to have joined a sabotage group can be jailed for us to 10 years, while people who are found to have been complicit in terror or sabotage incidents face a maximum prison term of two decades.

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Russia in recent months has suffered a series of incidents, including explosions, at important military and infrastructural sites, which Moscow has mainly blamed on Ukraine.

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