Vladimir Putin on course to become the longest-serving Russian leader
Vladimir Putin sworn in as Russia's president for a fourth time; March victory puts him on course to be longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin
Russian president Vladimir Putin at the swearing-in ceremony
Vladimir Putin,65, was sworn in as Russia's president for a fourth term yesterday, extending his almost two-decade rule by another six years at a time of high tension with his Western rivals.
Putin, in power since 1999, is on course to become the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin after his victory in March's elections. Putin won nearly 77 percent of the vote in polls which his most vocal opponent was banned from running in.
The new Russian-made limousine, called the Senate Limousine, in which Putin arrived. Pics/AFP
He has promised to use his fourth term to revitalise the country's economy. "I consider it my duty and my life's aim to do everything possible for Russia, for its present and for its future," Putin said at Monday's swearing-in ceremony, with his hand on the Russian constitution. The car that brought him to the inauguration was a black Russian-made limousine - a change from previous ceremonies when he used a Mercedes.
"I feel strongly conscious of my colossal responsibility," he said, thanking Russians for their "sincere support" and "cohesiveness."
'Not our Tsar,' say thousands of protesters
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny called on Russians to protest across the country on Saturday under the slogan "Not our Tsar". On Saturday nearly 1,600 protesters, including Navalny, were detained during nationwide rallies against Putin. The European Union condemned what it called "police brutality and mass arrests" during the protests.
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