Putin reelected

Lucy Potter, Staff Reporter

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Vladimir Putin has been sworn in for a fourth term as the president of Russia. He has been in power for 18 years, and his reign has been likened to that of the tsars or emperors.

Over 5,000 people attended the event in an extravagant Kremlin hall.

“We have revived pride in our fatherland,” Mr Putin said. “As head of state I will do all I can to multiply the strength and prosperity of Russia. We need breakthroughs in all areas of life. I’m deeply convinced that such a leap forward can only be secured with a free society that accepts all that is new and advanced.”

He was elected with more than 76% of the vote, his highest performance ever. Accusations of ballot-rigging had surrounded previous elections too.

The most popular opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was banned from running against Mr. Putin because of an embezzlement conviction which Navalny says is untrue.

Opponents claim Mr. Putin is threatening Russian democracy using a policy nicknamed “managed democracy”.

On Saturday riot police accosted protesters against his control in Moscow and many other Russian cities. Over 1,000 arrests have been made in over 19 cities.

The largest complaints, according to the Levada Centre, was that Mr.Putin had not reduced the wealth gap or refunded Russians who lost money during market reforms.

Mr. Putin was elected to his first term in 2000, and re-elected in 2004. In 2008, he served as prime minister under Dmitry Medvedev, his somewhat of an apprentice. By law, he could only serve two consecutive terms.

Mr. Putin came back as the president in 2012 and served a term of six years. By the time he finishes his fourth term he will have been in power for nearly 25 years. Almost as long as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (31 years in power) and Russian tsars Alexander II (26 years) and Nicholas I (30 years).

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