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The Return of President Putin

It is as if he never left, in fact.

Via the BBC:  Vladimir Putin inaugurated as Russian president

Mr Putin is returning to the presidency after an absence of four years in which he served as prime minister. The outgoing President, Dmitry Medvedev, was widely seen as an ally of Mr Putin.

He won a third term as president in controversial elections in March.

On Sunday, thousands of protesters opposed to the inauguration clashed with police in Moscow.

Mr Putin took the presidential oath at the Grand Kremlin Palace, in a hall that was once the throne room of the Russian tsars.

[...]

If he completes his six-year term, Mr Putin will be the longest serving Russian leader since Soviet supreme ruler Joseph Stalin, says the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.

At a minimum, I suppose all of this makes it easier to remember the names of people who have been in charge of Russia over the years.

Putin did speak of strengthening democracy in his speech, but given the degree to which he seems interested in personally being in power and manipulating the rules to his favor, such statements come across as rather hollow:

"We will achieve our goals if we are a single, united people – if we hold our fatherland dear, strengthen Russian democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms."

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. walt moffett says:

    Putin’s speech sounds like any given in Russia since 1905.

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  2. Herb says:

    Wow, we can finally use the old “Meet the new boss” line without irony.

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