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Home / World / Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President

Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President



"Now we will use all the possibilities that we have first and foremost to solve the inner and most important development tasks," he said. "A new quality of life, well-being, safety and health for people, that's important today."

Mr. Putin won reelection in March with nearly 77 percent of the vote, the largest margin for any post-Soviet leader. It was a result that his supporters said showed widespread support, but one that dismissed his critics as illustrating the suppression of a real opposition,

Abroad, Mr. Putin has tried to restore Russia's influence in world affairs. During his third term as president, he intervened militarily in Ukraine and Syria, which brought him into conflict with the West. And according to US intelligence, he has ordered Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald J. Trump.

At home he has directed the return of the security agency to power he once served, with many senior officials and corporate executives now being former officers such as Mr Putin. However, the domestic economy has slowed recently after a painful recession. He has also arrested critics, arrested dozens of opposition activists and restricted the media.

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Mr. Putin, a former KGB agent, has been ruling Russia as prime minister or president for more than 18 years.

Credit
Alexander Astafjew ​​/ Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

"The symbolic Putin is omnipotent, as Saint George kills the Western Dragon, but the meat-and-bone Putin is barely able to address the everyday problems of To solve Russians or prevent tragedies, "Andrei Kolesnikov, an employee of Carnegie Moscow Center, wrote in a commentary on the continued popularity of Mr. Putin despite the economic slump. "The president responds to the symbolic rebirth of feelings of belonging to a great world power, while mayors, regional leaders and ministers responsible for fire and landfill are responsible."

European election observers at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe wrote that his recent re-election, "took place in an over-controlled legal and political environment characterized by continued pressure for critical votes."

Underlining this point, two days before the inauguration, police arrested around 1,600 people in protests titled "He is not our Tsar". Protesters wore paper crowns to mock Mr. Putin's long reign, which lasted longer than any other Russian leader since Stalin.

The arrests added pictures of swinging nylons and firing matches with police to the opening events. "A corrupt party," read a headline on Monday in a business newspaper "Vedomosti".

The violence involved an apparent relapse into an era of mass-control tactics in Russia. Men who wore Cossack uniforms and wore a kind of traditional leather whip, known as Nagaika, had mixed in the crowd and occasionally whipped. The Moscow radio station Echo reported on Monday that the Cossack group had received city contracts for training and assistance in mass control, although it remained unclear whether they had officially acted on Saturday.

On December 31, 1999, Putin became president for the first time when Boris Yeltsin resigned from heart problems. Mr. Putin was then elected in 2000 and served twice, the constitutional limit for successive terms. He then became prime minister for a term before returning to the presidency in 2012. The term of office was extended from four to six years for his third and now four terms as president.

Although pomp is not neglected, the ceremony on Monday was less elaborate than its inauguration in 2012.

In 2012, police cordoned off much of the city center so that Putin's motorcade could glide through quiet streets to the Kremlin , Scary images of the leader in an empty city triggered the criticism that Putin had lost contact with the people.

This year he stayed on the Kremlin grounds. He walked from his office to a motorcade that drove from one Kremlin building to the other, accompanied by motorcycles.

In the ceremony, Mr. Putin walked through several interconnected, gilded and decorated halls in a historic Kremlin palace, before he reached Andreyevsky Hall, where guests were waiting. Only a few foreign dignitaries were present. Among the guests in the hall were Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor and long-time supporter of Putin.

Dozhd, an opposition television station, cited Kremlin officials who said that this time they were looking for a lower key ceremony. Although he has not exactly called it routine, Putin's spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov told reporters that inauguration was less important this year because Putin had just begun a new term and had not moved from the post of prime minister to president.

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