Putin to be sworn in as Russian president for fourth term

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Vladimir Putin is set to be inaugurated as the president of Russia for the fourth time, renewing another six-year term in office. 

The 65-year-old Russian leader will take oath at a ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace in the capital, Moscow, on Monday, 18 years after he first came to power.

Putin’s fourth presidential term comes after he easily won the elections in March, receiving 76 percent of the votes. 

Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was in second with 11.8 percent, followed by nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 5.6 percent, according to official results. 

“I see in this minimum a recognition for what I did in the past year under very complicated circumstances,” Putin said in his victory speech, addressing thousands on the Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin.

I see in this trust and hope that we will continue to work as intensely and as responsibly.”

Speaking to government members on Sunday, Putin laid down the main challenges and tasks that lie ahead during his next tenure.

“In general, our key task for the next few years is a significant raise of the citizens’ real income,” he said, according to a Kremlin press release. 

Once sworn in, Putin will have the right to appoint his preferred candidate for prime minister. 

Rise to power

A former agent for the Russian spy agency, KGB, Putin went on to become the country’s prime minister in 1999.

Less than five months later, he took over the presidency at the age of 47. 

A “macho-man” image has fuelled Putin’s popularity at home and he has worked equally hard to assert Russia’s tough image abroad.

He took Crimea from Ukraine – a move that has angered many in the West.

Putin also stepped in to back the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s long-running war. 

Forbes magazine has named Putin the world’s most powerful person for four years in a row.

On Saturday, thousands of Russians took to the streets to protest Putin’s inauguration under the banner “He’s not our Tsar!” in 90 cities across the country.

The demonstrations were organised by opposition activist Alexey Navalny, who was among 1,600 detained by the police at the anti-Putin rallies. Navalny was later released.

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