Russia: Vladimir Putin Begins Fourth Term

 He was sworn in on May 7, 2018 after receiving 76 per cent of votes last March.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 7, 2018 began his fourth term after the inauguration in the Grand Kremlin Palace in the capital, Moscow - 18 years after he first came to power. The BBC reported that 5,000 guests attended the lavish ceremony, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.

The 65-year-old won the presidential poll of last March with 76 per cent of the votes. Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was second with 11.8 per cent, followed by nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 5.6 per cent. Addressing the crowd, Putin said it was his duty to do everything for Russia’s present, future and the welfare of its citizens. Earlier on May 6, 2018, the Russian leader told cabinet members that his main task for the next six years will be to significantly raise real personal incomes. Following his inauguration, Putin now has the right to appoint his preferred candidate as Prime Minister.

A former agent for the Russian spy agency, KGB, Putin went on to become the country's Prime Minister in 1999. Less than five months later, he took over the presidency at the age of 47 after the 2000 election. Putin renewed his four-year term in 2004 before stepping aside in 2008 to serve as Prime Minister under Dmitry Medvedev because the law did not allow more than two consecutive terms. In 2012, Vladimir Putin returned as President, this time for a term of six years.

His early years in office saw inflation reined in and the welfare system improved. Separatist violence in the North Caucasus that plagued the administration of his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, was finally brought to an end. As a result, many Russians hold Putin in high esteem for making their nation great again and keeping the country together. The Kremlin leader has worked equally hard to assert Russia’s tough image abroad.

Putin seized Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, a move that angered many in the West, but raised his standing at home. In September 2015, he intervened in the Syrian conflict in support of President Bashar al-Assad. It is therefore no surprise that Forbes magazine has named Putin the world’s most powerful person for four years in a row.

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