Vladimir Putin officially begins fifth term following Kremlin inauguration ceremony



An inauguration ceremony to mark the official start of Vladimir Putin’s fifth term in office was held in the Kremlin on Tuesday.

The inauguration ceremony, which has taken place in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow on 7 May in every election year since 2000, requires the president to take an oath to “respect and protect human rights and civil freedoms, the constitution, sovereignty and security, and serve the people.”

After the brief ceremony, Putin addressed the nation and expressed his gratitude to residents of what he called Russia’s “historic regions”, meaning the four partially occupied regions of Ukraine Russia claims to have absorbed, who had “defended their right to be a part of Russia”.

Putin also stressed the importance of defending traditional values and ended his speech by saying, “Together we will win”.

After his speech, Putin attended a parade by the Presidential Regiment on Cathedral Square in the Kremlin, before attending a prayer service in the Annunciation Cathedral led by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who ended his sermon by wishing that Putin would rule Russia until the end of the century.

Those attending the ceremony included Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and former president Dmitry Medvedev. Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov was also present, despite recent reports of his rapidly deteriorating health. For the first time, veterans of the war in Ukraine were also invited to attend.

Just three foreign diplomats were reported to have arrived before the inauguration began. In total, some 20 European countries boycotted the event, according to Reuters.

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