Russian president Vladimir Putin was sworn in Monday for another six years as leader of his country after facing no strong opposition in the March election.
The Russian president was sworn in after receiving 77 percent of the vote in the March 18 election, making this his fourth term as Russian president.
Putin could be seen with his hand upon a gold-embossed copy of the Russian constitution in the Andreyevsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, where the leader swore to serve the Russian people and protect the sovereignty of Russia.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Putin said his next term would see to it that Russia becomes a “strong player” on the world stage.
This role, he suggested, includes increasing military might while striving to improve the life of citizens back home.
“A new quality of life, well-being, security and people’s health — that’s what’s primary today,” the 65-year-old leader said, according to the Associated Press.
“Taking up this post, I feel a colossal sense of responsibility,” Putin said to those in attendance audience, many of whom were Russian officials and foreign dignitaries.
“The object of my life and my work will be to serve the people and the fatherland,” he said.
Shortly after being sworn in, a statement was issued by the Kremlin announcing that Putin had nominated Dmitry Medvedev to be prime minister over the next six years — a move reported by Reuters as suggesting Putin favors continuity.
The nomination itself must be approved by the lower house of parliament, which is made up of Kremlin loyalists.
Once Putin’s term ends in 2024, the Russian constitution forbids him from running for a third consecutive term.
However, Putin came up against those same term limits in 2008, though he skirted around the issue by making Medvedev president before quickly taking over the position once again when the term was ended.
It has been speculated that Putin, who has not hinted at appointing an heir anytime soon, may attempt that same maneuver in 2024.
Though the Russian economy is a weakness of Putin’s, opinion polls show him receiving high levels of support from everyday citizens.
Though there had been no meaningful opposition during the election that would remove Putin from the position of president, his most dangerous opponent, Alexei Navalny, had been barred from running altogether.
Though not yet able to inspire a nationwide protest against the Russian leader, Navalny organized protests across several cities in Russia. He was arrested and later released by authorities on the premise of organizing a rally and police resistance.
Hundreds of Navalny’s supporters had been arrested outside the hall where Putin was sworn in after protesting his renewed power and using the slogan “Putin is not our tsar.”
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