Vladimir V. Putin was sworn in as the Russian President for the fourth time. An impressive ceremony was hosted in Kremlin hall, highlighting his authority after nearly two decades of ruling.
He has ruled for over 18 years as President or Prime minister and in that period he has managed to craft quite an image for himself as a man of steel nerves. A former KGB agent, Putin, was the chosen successor of Boris Yeltsin in April 2007.
The ceremony kicked off with a theatrical touch as Putin was seen on screen answering a call where he was informed that he was to be President for the fourth time. He then donned his jacket and walked down the red carpet in the Kremlin hall which was packed with over 6000 guests. In his short speech, Putin said his focus had turned more to domestic matters and wished to improve Russia’s economy to better the well being of every family.
"Taking up this post, I feel a colossal sense of responsibility," Putin told his audience of Russian officials and foreign dignitaries, among them former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
He did not acknowledge the country’s tense relations with the West. With Putin sworn in, people are eager to know whom he will nominate as his Prime Minister. His loyal lieutenant Dmitry Medvedev may continue his post. Once this term ends in 2024, the Constitution bars him from running again.
The preceding terms have been dominated by Putin’s standoff with the West and reportedly foreign diplomats see little prospect of it being put to ease in the new term.
He will soon have ruled longer than Soviet Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev, whose 18-year rule from 1964 to 1982 is primarily associated with stagnation.