Vladimir Putin takes oath as Russian President for fourth time
Vladimir Putin took oath as Russian President for the fourth time in Moscow's Grand Kremlin Palace on Monday. Putin first took office 18 years ago. Today he added another six years to his reign as President. In March elections, Putin had garnered 76% votes. Putin held a gold-embossed copy of the constitution, in the Andreyevsky Hall, and vowed to serve the country.
"It's my life's purpose to do everything possible for Russia"
Moscow streets witnessed protests ahead of inauguration
Alexei Navalny, Russia's main Opposition leader, protested against Putin's inauguration on Moscow streets along with 1,600 anti-Kremlin activists. Navalny likened Putin's reign with the autocratic rule of Tsars. He shouted, "Down with the Tsar!", as several protestors joined the chorus. He was detained by the police. A police official said over 300 protesters, yelling against Putin, were detained over the weekend.
The looming question is: What after 2024?
Riding on massive public support, Putin catapulted himself for a historic term in office, but the uncertainty of what'll happen next has many worried. Will he follow his Chinese counterpart's footsteps of allowing himself to stay President for life? Looks unlikely. "I never changed Constitution, especially for it to benefit me and I do not have this kind of intention today," he had said.
Is there a leader as popular as Putin?
Competing with the Russian strongman in terms of popularity is impossible for any other leader. The ball will lie in the courts of Russian people to choose an equally influential leader. "Putin may prepare the regime for a transfer of power. But not from Putin to another president but from Putin to Putin in some other role," said a political analyst.
Some commentators feel Putin will never refuse power
Political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin said, "I don't think he will refuse power in 2024 even if he has had enough, he is (already) visibly tired." Oreshkin said as per the Putin system all that mattered was who was at the top. Notably, age plays a part too. By the time, Putin will be Constitutionally allowed to run for President (in 2030), he'll be 78.