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."