Vladimir Putin inaugurated as Russian president


Vladimir Putin's speech as he is sworn in as Russia's president for the third time

Vladimir Putin has been inaugurated as president of Russia in a lavish ceremony in the capital, Moscow.

Mr Putin is returning to the presidency after an absence of four years in which he served as prime minister. The outgoing President, Dmitry Medvedev, was widely seen as an ally of Mr Putin.

He won a third term as president in controversial elections in March.

On Sunday, thousands of protesters opposed to the inauguration clashed with police in Moscow.

Mr Putin took the presidential oath at the Grand Kremlin Palace, in a hall that was once the throne room of the Russian tsars.

In a short speech he said Russia was "entering a new phase of national development".

"We will have to decide tasks of a new level, a new quality and scale. The coming years will be decisive for Russia's fate for decades to come."


Vladimir Putin's return is a non-event in the sense that he never went away. Russia has been ruled by Putinism for the past 12 years.

It looks set for another dozen years of authoritarianism, cronyism, systematic corruption, and dangerous political drift at a time of mounting problems for Russia.

The demonstrations don't yet represent a serious challenge to Putin's political authority, let alone a revolutionary situation.

The opposition is neither large nor organised enough to force real change. But there is a widespread feeling that things cannot go on as they were.

It is especially strong among the professional classes. This is an important psychological turning-point, which could lead to a revolutionary situation if the system fails to introduce reforms.

The new Putin government will continue to be jittery about possible "Orange Revolution" scenarios.

Analysis was provided for bbcrussian.com

He said Mr Medvedev had given a new impulse to modernisation, and the "transformation" of Russia must continue.

He also spoke of the need to strengthen Russian democracy and constitutional rights.

"I consider it to be the meaning of my whole life and my obligation to serve my fatherland and our people," Mr Putin said.

"We will achieve our goals if we are a single, united people - if we hold our fatherland dear, strengthen Russian democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms."

The Kremlin audience included former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the widow of Russia's first president, Naina Yeltsin, and the four losing presidential candidates.

If he completes his six-year term, Mr Putin will be the longest serving Russian leader since Soviet supreme ruler Joseph Stalin, says the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.

However, Mr Putin faces many problems; the political system he created has been showing cracks, economic growth is forecast to slow, and violence in the volatile North Caucasus continues, he adds.

The cost of Monday's ceremony is estimated at 20m roubles (£411,000; $664,000), half of it spent on commemorative medals for the guests.

In addition, a 12m-rouble banquet will be held in honour of President Putin.

Anti-Putin protests

In pictures

Vladimir Putin in the hall where the ceremony took place, 7 May 2012

How Mr Putin deals with the wave of opposition protests which broke out last December will be a key test of his administration, correspondents say.

There was a heavy police presence for the Kremlin ceremony on Monday and some anti-Putin protesters were detained.

Sunday's larger protest against the inauguration was peaceful until a small group of demonstrators tried to break through the lines of riot police.

Some protesters launched a sit-in by the police lines, refusing to leave unless the inauguration was cancelled.

They were also demanding an hour of TV airtime and new elections.

Prominent opposition activists Alexei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov and Boris Nemtsov were among dozens detained. All three were later freed after being fined 1,000 roubles each, media reports said.

A rival demonstration in support of Mr Putin also took place in the city.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    Few people not Russians in the UK know Russia better than I -having owned property there, been married to a Russian,& traveled all over Russia,Ukraine,Poland ,Moldova over 23 years. Putin inherited a mess from Yeltsin when people weren't paid money for months,shops empty and turned it around bringing stability and prospects.He loves Russia more than money,& few Western Politicians can compare.

  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    Dear BBC<
    Bad piece.
    However wrote this piece is either a Russo-Phobe or doesn't do research. Likely both.
    Number 1 : Putin referred to his country as MOTHERLAND not Fatherland. (*trying to insert a subtle comparison to Nazi Germany for your dear readers ????)
    Number 2: His inauguration costs are extremely low. Not like for example George W. Bush's, his cost 42 MILLION DOLLARS !!!!!!!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 129.

    Congratulations to Tsar Vladimir: may the votes come in to keep you elected in perpetuity, may the Constitution grow to fulfill all your needs, and may those who seek to disrupt the unity you have pledge cease to trouble you always.

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.

    Like him or not (not in my case) the majority of Russians voted for him. To me he is power-crazy and is setting himself up as a neo-Tsarist cult figure throned on a mountain of corruption. My advice to his opponents is to get your act together and form a credible opposition that can offer the Russian a less corrupt and less militaristic style of government. The cold war is over so try to move on

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    How many years until everything crumbles around Putin and the Russian people turn on him ? He's living the dream now but it never lasts when it's build on lies and corruption. I look forward to the day the Russians throw him out and he is a broken man.

  • rate this

    Comment number 126.

    114.David Toulman

    Point is?
    Putin is allowing the British Government to withdraw out of Afghanistan through Russia in order to avoid a blood bath through ambushing and loosing billions of the latest equipment paid by the british tax payer falling into Taliban hands.....oh and the logistics is cheaper for the Brits....

  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    You really do have to feel for the vast majority of the Russian people, who are good, honest, hard working folk like the rest of the world.......gangsters cause enough problems the world over when not in charge & with the authorities on their backs, but having them as the authorities......it makes me shiver.......

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    Near to where I live, there is a giant poodle called Percy. Even Percy knows Putin's elevation to the Presidency is corrupt. But then I look around at what is going on in this country and it seems to me that the principle difference between their corruption and our's is one of sophistication. Their's is one where violence is a commonplace. Then Percy said "what about David Kelly". God-damned dog.

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    Putin is a "Dictator" period (one of the worst of them)...& sadly Russia is going backwards to "Cold War" status under his foul rule.

    The Communists never - ever, went away - you know - they just went off "Doolallying" for the past 2 decades. But now with Putin in command again...the world better be on guard for his serious pompous strut.

    PS. Oh...& they keep playing "Musical Chairs".

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Some people are never satisfied, Russia is damned if it has democratic elections, and damned if it doesn't.

    In the UK the head of state is undemocratically appointed by a quirk of birthright. We do however get to vote for MPs, then the PM is appointed, it doesn't even have to be a politician, by the head of state. So, yes, Gordon Brown was a legitimate choice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    Putin is in power because the West knows it is better to have a predictable enemy than a dictator that pretends to be your friend.
    Global power hungry people like Putin are like a book with very large letters. Readable at any level of intelligence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    Well, anyone else would have been a disaster, liberal is a swear word in Russia, so like every country there is just enough people who like their President / Prime Minister and just enough people to hate them. Socialism, Democratic, Liberalism, fascism, I guess thats the problem with free thinking and free speech, people have different views and no one can agree.

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    The worst of all is that it seems they (putin&k) DO want a clash. I saw it myself yesterday, when riot police stormed into the crowd.
    Next time it will be hundreds of thousand and even more violence. No idea why. We are ruled by an idiot, that's the only answer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    Good for him, maybe dictatorships are popular again!

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    Putin represents the ogliarchs and the mafia in his country very well indeed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    Some peoples have addict to drug but some peoples become addict to power and becoming dictator. The power addicts should be sent to Mental Institute to get treatment too. It's some kind of mental illness.
    We should officially recognize peoples like Putin, Than Shwe and Mugabe as insane person.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.

    @100: "Russia & China are freinds of the world. America, Britain and Israel are enemies of the world."

    You're kidding right? The leaders of Russia and China don't give a fig about what happens in the rest of the world as long as their own countries benefit from the outcome. UK/US are no angels but at-least they TRY to encourage democracy and freedom when possible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    How long before HM Government is kicking itself, and being kicked by others, for the foolish scrapping of the Nimrod AEW fleet and for selling to Harriers to the US Marines for spare parts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.


    And the KGB / Russian Mob continue tho run the country"

    And MI6-private school brigade / British Mob continue to run the country

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    So, no real News here except to say the Zsar is back again after a longer holiday riding horses and hunting bears in his large outback garden. Before the lights go out for him its important for him that he can now statistically triumph over Stalin and ensure his name will then be carved on a stone ...somewhere.


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