Vladimir Putin has taken the presidential oath in the Kremlin after being re-elected to a fourth term. He pledged to do his best to keep Russia a prominent world power and make life better for the people.
Putin was re-elected as president in March. His inauguration ceremony was held on Monday at the Kremlin Grand Palace. Three lavishly decorated grand halls – the Georgievsky, Aleksandrovsky, and Andreevsky, which form an enfilade – were used for the event.
Dozens of dignitaries were invited. The presence of some was required by protocol, such as senior officials from parliament, the president’s office, the constitutional court, the central election commission, and Russia’s diplomatic corps. Other guests received their invitations for holding high merits, representing major religions in Russia, being distinguished business leaders or respected public figures.
Honor guards dressed in their traditional dark blue uniforms brought through the halls to the podium the symbols of power in Russia – the national flag, the flag and seal of the president’s office, and the Russian Constitution. The heads of the two chambers of the Russian Parliament and the chairman of the Constitutional Court walked up to witness the swearing-in.
Putin arrived at the ceremony from his work office in the Senate building of the Kremlin complex. Cameras tracked him as he walked down the corridors and out to the brand new Russian state car – a limousine produced in the Kortezh project.
After taking a 33-word oath to serve the Russian people, Putin was officially declared the president of Russia for the next six years. He then delivered a speech, thanking voters for entrusting him with the mandate to lead the country and pledging to do his best to keep the nation strong and modern, and promising to put the interests of the Russian people above all else.
The ceremony proceeded to a cannon salute and a small military review in the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square – the center of Moscow since the late 15th century. After several columns of foot and mounted soldiers marched past Putin, he went to join a crowd of selfie-seeking young people in the square.