Putin Sworn In As Russian President For Fifth Time

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President Vladimir Putin has been sworn into office at a lavish Kremlin ceremony for a record-breaking fifth term.

Putin, 71, who has ruled Russia since the turn of the century, got a fresh six-year mandate in March after winning presidential elections.

He had no opposition.

In his remarks at the event, Putin said, “We are a united and great people. Together we will overcome all obstacles, we will bring all our plans to fruition, and together we will win.”

“We will pass through this difficult, decisive period with dignity and become even stronger,” Putin said at his inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin, attended by an AFP journalist.

“We are a united and great nation,” Putin said in an upbeat speech, to applause from an audience of around 2,500 people including officials and military top brass.

“Together we will overcome all obstacles, achieve everything we have planned, and together we will win,” he said.

He said after being sworn into office that he viewed the presidency as a “huge honour, responsibility and sacred duty”.

The Russian leader vowed to ensure “sustained and stable development, unity and independence of the country”.

Putin thanked soldiers taking part in what Russia calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, more than two years after it began on February 24, 2022, at a ceremony attended by some of those fighting.

“We are looking forward confidently,” Putin stressed in his speech, which was aired on national television.

Evoking the country’s “thousand-year history” as he spoke in the Kremlin’s gilded St Andrew’s Hall, the president said that present-day Russians owed a debt to previous generations who achieved “such triumphs that inspire us today”.

He said Russians shared a “firm conviction that we ourselves alone will determine the fate of Russia for the sake of present and future generations”.

Russia is “not refusing dialogue with western states” and is ready to talk about “questions of security and strategic stability”, Putin said, “but only on equal terms, respecting the interests of each other”.