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Putin Sworn in for Fifth Term as Russian President Amid Controversy

Putin Sworn in for Fifth Term as Russian President Amid Controversy

By Matthew Eloyi

Russian President Vladimir Putin was sworn in for his fifth term in Moscow on Tuesday, amidst ongoing controversy surrounding the legitimacy of his re-election in March.

The 71-year-old leader took the oath of office in a ceremony held at the Kremlin, attended by several thousand people, including senior Russian politicians and other dignitaries.

Putin’s re-election, where he received 87 per cent of the vote, was marred by allegations of fraud, coercion, and irregularities, with his main challenger barred from running.

Live coverage of the inauguration showed Putin arriving at the Grand Kremlin Palace in a Russian-made Aurus limousine, followed by a parade by the Kremlin Regiment. In his oath, he pledged to protect the rights of Russia’s citizens and defend its constitution.

Putin, who has been a dominant figure in Russian politics for over two decades, was able to run for re-election due to constitutional changes he pushed through in 2020. His new term will extend until 2030 when he will be 77 years old.

Following the ceremony, Putin addressed the crowd, claiming that his re-election demonstrated the Russian people’s belief in his leadership and support for his policies, including the controversial invasion of Ukraine launched over two years ago. He stated that while Russia was open to dialogue with the West, it would continue to choose its own path, including in its actions regarding Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Putin would nominate his candidate for prime minister on Tuesday. Current Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is expected to retain his position, but there is speculation about the future of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, particularly after Shoigu’s deputy was recently arrested on corruption charges.

The Russian parliament, the Duma, is expected to approve new ministry appointments by May 15, providing further insight into Putin’s plans for his new term.

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