Russia: Putin sworn in for third term

2012-05-07 14:00

Moscow - Russian politician Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a third term as Russia's president on Monday, as the former KGB spy cemented his control over the world's largest country.

Putin took the oath of office under heavy security in a glittering Kremlin ceremony, with at least 3 000 senior government officials in attendance.

The head of Russia's Orthodox Church then blessed him and national security staff gave Putin launch codes for the country's nuclear strike force.

In a speech aired live on national television Putin called for national sacrifice saying: "We will have to resolve tasks of a new level, a new quality and scale. The coming years will be decisive for Russia's fate, for decades to come."

As the country's new commander-in-chief, Putin inspected the Presidential Guards Regiment after the swearing-in ceremony.

Elsewhere in Moscow, Russian police on Monday arrested 120 people protesting Putin's inauguration, in a second day of opposition demonstrations.

Military draft orders

Among the detained in a central district of the Russian capital were former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov and poet Lev Rubenshteyn. All were later released, a police statement said.

More than 100 of the participants in the Moscow protest were military-age and received orders to report to a Moscow army recruitment centre in coming days, Interfax reported, citing police.

The situation in Moscow's streets on Monday "in general is calm", a police spokesperson said.

The Monday arrests and military draft orders against opposition activists followed massed anti-Putin demonstrations in Moscow on Sunday, which saw extended violence between protesters and police, and reportedly 436 arrests.

Between 50 000 and 70 000 Putin opponents participated in the Sunday street rallies, independent media reports said.

Fourth term?

Commenting on the recent wave of protests and arrests in the Russian capital, Gennady Zyuganov, head of the opposition Communist Party told Interfax: "Attempts to shut every one's mouth with a police baton are senseless and extremely dangerous."

Putin served two terms as Russia's president, from 2000-2008, before evacuating the office to allow his political protégé, Dmitry Medvedev, to hold the job for a single term from 2008-2012. Putin served as Prime Minister at the time.

One of Putin's first formal acts as President on Monday was to nominate Medvedev to be Russia's next Prime Minister.

Recent amendments to Russia's constitution changed the term of office from four to a current six years. Putin has said he would consider running for a fourth term in office if Russians supported it.

  • Kobus - 2012-05-07 14:27


      Diana - 2012-05-07 16:37

      You're so far from him why he is a danger to you?

  • Alan - 2012-05-07 15:06

    Put In to serve a 3rd term?

  • Gert - 2012-05-07 15:13

    Russia can be glad they have someone of that caliber and vision that Putin has. Other countries are jealous of this fact.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-07 15:59

      He's a neo-Soviet leader who slants elections in his favor, and is directly responsible for the slaughter of thousands of Syrian families, and the destruction of Syria itself. I think your moral compass is a bit off.

  • georgebrightons - 2012-05-07 15:50

    Fourth term! Good for Russians if they the move. Each term is 6 yrs. Bring back the USSR if possible Mr.President. Russia has never invaded any country. Good democracy.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-07 15:57

      "Bring back the USSR. Good democracy." I recommend educating yourself about the USSR, looking up democracy in the dictionary, and comparing the two.

      Diana - 2012-05-07 16:32

      Thank you George. It looks like anti-russian propaganda didnt touch you at all. @fred.fraizer.12 Why u so scared of the country which doesnt exist for more than 20 yrs? After all no one forces you to go and live in RF. Stay where you are.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-07 17:34

      Do you like being responsible for the deaths of thousands of Syrians, the detention, rape and torture of tens of thousands of Syrians, and the destruction of Syria? Russia is arming the cold tyrant Bashar Assad. Syrians just want to vote.

      Diana - 2012-05-07 19:12

      @fred.fraizer.12 Now USA complaining about Al-Quaeda arming government forces in Syria this is the latest news yours are a bit not up to date and in total your passionate posts about Syria prove you are far from the subject.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-07 19:24

      Not at all. It makes total sense Al-Quaida would look to take advantage of the dark chaos in Syria. This would not be happening had Russia not allowed it to happen. At the end of the day, Russia is now known as a country that supports oppression and murder. I would not be happy with this image, as a Russian. It's terrible.

  • Diana - 2012-05-07 16:29

    Well done Russia. They elected a strong leader for the strong country.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-07 17:58

      A strongly Ego-centric and dishonest leader with weak conscience and character. Russia deserves better.

  • kafantaris2 - 2012-05-07 20:06

    The world has changed. Russia has changed. Vladimir Putin has changed. But not enough. Not enough for the Russians, and not enough for anybody else. Putin either has to shift gears --- fast -- or get out of the way. Staying the course can only hatch problems that neither the Russians nor the rest of us would ever want to face.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-07 20:14

      Well put

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