MOSCOW, May 7 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti)
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Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russian president on Monday in a glittering Kremlin ceremony that took place less than 24 hours after protesters opposed to his rule had battled police in downtown Moscow.
“I swear on the power invested in me as president of the Russian Federation to respect and protect the rights and freedom of its citizens,” Putin said, his right hand placed on a red-bound copy of the Russian Constitution.
Russia’s nuclear suitcase was handed over to Putin immediately after his inauguration.
Putin’s motorcade had sped through empty streets locked down by a heavy security presence on its way to the Kremlin State Palace, where some 2,000 guests had gathered to witness his inauguration for a six-year term.
Those assembled included Putin’s predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, and Patriarch Kirill, head of Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church. The patriarch later blessed Putin’s inauguration in a Kremlin service. Former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was also in attendance.
“We are entering a new stage of national development,” Putin, 59, said. “We want to live in a democratic country…in a successful Russia.”
"I consider it to be my life’s meaning and duty to serve my fatherland and our people," he added.
Police made 120 arrests as some 200 people, including Yeltsin-era deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, protested Putin’s return to the presidency at separate locations near the Kremlin.
Putin was forced to step down in 2008 by a Constitution that forbids more than two subsequent terms, but is silent on further presidential stints. He shifted to the post of prime minister after installing Medvedev in the Kremlin, but remained by far Russia’s most powerful politician.
Putin won a landslide victory at March 4 presidential elections marred by allegations of vote fraud.
Medvedev said shortly before Putin’s inauguration that the authorities had become “more open to dialogue” during his four-year rule. Russia’s Constitution was amended in 2008 to increase the presidential term of office from four years to six.
The amendment means that Putin could remain in power until 2024, longer than any Russian or Soviet leader since dictator Joseph Stalin. An April opinion poll by the independent Moscow-based Levada Center indicated that around a third of Russians fully expect Putin to be in charge for the next twelve years.
Over 400 people were arrested and scores injured as Sunday’s rally against Putin’s rule turned violent when protesters briefly broke through police lines in a bid to take their protest to the Kremlin walls. Putin’s opponents accuse him of corruption and curtailing political freedoms. Protest figureheads Sergei Udaltsov and Alexei Navalny were among those detained.
Sunday’s rally followed a series of unprecedented mass anti-government protests this winter. Putin accused the United States of backing opposition leaders and dismissed demonstrators on national television as “Bandar-log,” a reference to the chattering monkeys of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.
Putin made massive pledges on spending, including raising pensions and salaries for government employees, during his election campaign and he will need to find around $170 billion over the next six years to keep those promises.
On the global stage, Putin’s return is unlikely to see drastic changes in Russia’s foreign policies, analysts say.
“Washington has always assumed that Mr. Putin as prime minister was closely involved in major foreign policy decisions,” said Steven Pifer, senior fellow and Russia expert at the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank.
“So one should expect a significant degree of continuity in Russia’s approach to foreign policy issues, including relations with the United States,” he added in comments ahead of Putin’s inauguration.
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- lmFools.13:56, 07/05/2012The problem with the oppsition is that they are easly fooled because they "believe what isn't true and refuse to believe what is true"
The middle calss now they have everything they are trying to bite the hand that feed them " so to speak"
- lmCorrections13:58, 07/05/2012• The problem with the opposition is that they are easily fooled because they "believe what isn't true and refuse to believe what is true"
The middle class now they have everything they are trying to bite the hand that feed them " so to speak"
- moistWhat only a mere 20 years has brought us..15:22, 07/05/2012...a decadent upper-middle class, taking it to the streets to defend their loot. This is the Russian equivalent of the fascist Miami Cubans or the posh Yuppies from the suburbs of Caracas, or indeed the "green" urban uber-trash in Teheran. Urban orange new-rich western wannabeees
- antfrePutting returns18:04, 07/05/2012Returns??? Was he ever away? Russians will always be ruled rather than be governed.
- SirkoBring Back the Oprichnina19:00, 07/05/2012Ya...!!! ...And the rest of you fools and dweebs are governed rather than ruled...Of course the classic fascist response. Russians are evil and the western rats are special. Read a book! Learn some history and politics...!!!
The American regime and its wart NATO are trying to do the same thing in Russia as in the former Warsaw Pact countries, the old Soviet republics, Lybia and now Syria, tomorrow Iran and they are biting their tongues in anger with many failed attempts at destabilizing North Korea. They have subverting the populist uprising in Tunisia and Egypt and other Arab countries into a tool of the western money bag imperialism.
Hopefully Putin will put an end to those traitorous fools sucked in by western greed and bullshit democracy. A bullshit term used for fomenting political unrest in select regions. There is no such thing and never even existed in the land and time of the ancient Athenians who coined the term where it originally meant 'mob' (demos) 'rule' (cratia). The term has become a rag subverted by the west as a political tool to destabilize countries which they cannot control and pilfer their resources by propping up a scenario of some wonderful system and place full of opportunities were the common Joe can be rich and the streets are paved in gold, the "American Bullshit Dream, one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on humanity that somehow this wonderful place is morally, ethically, economically, culturally superior and the greatest country in the world when the complete antithesis is true where a select few filthy rich live almost as gods off the blood, sweat, toil and tears of the many. As I have reiterated before there is a massive, vehement and concerted effort to destroy Russia from within and from without by fomenting a pseudo populist but re-actionary uprising.
Unlike America which dissolves ethnicity into a mythological melting pot where the people are brainwashed to believe that even a genocidal baby killer such as George Armstrong Custer is a national hero and should be revered as some sort of demigod the fascist RATS know that Russia is a pluralistic society and hence with the aid of propaganda and lucre they can sow the seeds of discontent.
Also, hopefully the world will rid itself of right wing fascist as the French have in the recent election and as the Brits should get rid of Cameron and the Germans get rid of Angelo 'Shmerkel'. The Americans however, have little hope for Obama is a buffoon. Who but a buffoon would receive the biggest mandate from the people in history sending their pennies and dollars to support his election and subsequently controlling both houses he managed to do nothing for the people. So the choice is between a frontal lobotomized, ganglion like Romney or a fool like Obama.
Is it not strange that since the collapse of the Soviet Union all across Europe, the U.S. and even Canada right wing regimes have literally stolen the elections for the past twenty years???
If Putin has any cojones he will bring back the Oprichnina, the Dog's Head, the Broom and the Gulags, extirpate all the moles foreign and domestic, curb the avarice and corruption by controlling regional governors. In short another Papa Joe is needed in Russia and the former republics. He could take a few lessons from Lukashenko...:-)
"A people deserve the type of government they get...!!!" Thomas Jefferson
- bielecRussia has a historic chance to become the global leader of the people07:23, 08/05/2012Mr. Putin, on this day of your inauguration as the President of Russian Federation, I want to draw your attention to a unique chance presented by modern history to Russia and to you personally.
For decades, ordinary people around the world looked up to the United States of America as an example of freedoom, human rights, justice, and equal opportunities for all. We wanted to emulate the American Dream, we wanted to believe that America was a symbol of our aspirations.
However, times have changed and false masks have fallen off. The American way of life was replaced by a predatory capitalism, the American foreign policy became a tool of a fascist and predatory imperialism.
Today, most people around the world look up to Russia as a last chance to preserve the achievements of humanity. We hope that Russia will fill up the ideological vacuum created by failed Western democracies under the direction of greedy and criminal Western elites.
We hope that Russian leadership will realize the opportunity, take up the challenge, and lead the world to a better future.
All the best!
The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.