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Russia

Medvedev Confirmed As Russian PM

New Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the former's inauguration ceremonyon May 7.
New Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the former's inauguration ceremonyon May 7.

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Putin's Inauguration By The Numbers

May 7 marks the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency, when Russia's outgoing prime minister will be inaugurated for a third term in a ceremony at the Kremlin. RFE/RL takes a look at how the inauguration and its fledgling traditions add up.
By RFE/RL's Russian Service
MOSCOW -- Russia's lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, has confirmed ex-president Dmitry Medvedev as the country's new prime minister, a day after President Vladimir Putin was sworn-in for a third term.

Lawmakers in the Duma, where the Kremlin-allied United Russia party holds a majority of seats, approved Medvedev in a 299-144 vote.

The confirmation completed a job swap between Putin and Medvedev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had nominated former president Dmitry Medvedev for the post of prime minister immediately after his inauguration on May 7.

During the campaign, Putin had pledged to install his political partner Medvedev as prime minister.

Putin, the outgoing prime minister who served two presidential terms between 2000 and 2008, was sworn in for a third term in as Russian president in a lavish ceremony.

'My Whole Life'

In a brief speech following his oath of office, Putin pledged to strengthen democracy in Russia.

"I will do all I can to justify the faith of millions of our citizens," he said. "I consider it the meaning of my whole life and my duty to serve my fatherland and our people."

He said Russia is entering "a new stage of national development" and that the next few years will be "decisive" for the country.

PHOTO GALLERY: Putin Through The Years
  • Vladimir Putin and St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak (right) during a naming ceremony for Austrian Square in St. Petersburg on September 28, 1992.
  • Vladimir Putin, the city's newly appointed first deputy mayor, attends a news conference in St. Petersburg in December 1995.
  • Russian President Boris Yeltsin (right) shakes hands with Putin, whom he'd appointed to head the Federal Security Service in July, at a meeting in his Gorki Residence in Moscow on November 10, 1998.
  • Boris Yeltsin (right) leaves the Kremlin after an official ceremony marking the transfer of power to Vladimir Putin in Moscow on December 31, 1999.
  • Presidential candidate and acting head of state Vladimir Putin casts his ballot as his wife, Lyudmila, looks on at a polling station in Moscow in March 2000.
  • Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, attend a requiem for the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers at the monument to the 118 sailors who died aboard the "Kursk" nuclear submarine during a visit to Kursk in August 2003.
  • President Vladimir Putin visits a child injured during the deadly Beslan hostage siege in September 2004.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush leans over the steering wheel while driving Russian President Vladimir Putin's 1956 Volga outside Moscow in May 2005.
  • Putin meets with then-Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov at the Kremlin in May 2006.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, attend the funeral of Boris Yeltsin along with former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton (left) and George Bush in Moscow in April 2007.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting at the latter's country residence home in Novo Ogaryovo, near Moscow, in July 2009.
  • A shirtless Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse during a vacation in the Russian Republic of Tuva in August 2009.
  • Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Poland's ambassador to Russia, Jerzy Bahr, pay their last respects to Polish President Lech Kaczynski at Russia's Smolensk airport in April 2010.
  • Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appears to wipe away a tear as he addresses supporters during a rally in Manezh Square near the Kremlin on March 2012.
  • Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office for a third presidential term at the Kremlin on May 7, 2012.
Some 3,000 guests, including Federation Council members, State Duma deputies, and justices of the Supreme and Constitutional courts, attended the ceremony at the Kremlin. 

Putin's wife, Lyudmila also made a rare public appearance alongside her husband. 

Following the event, Putin and his wife went to the Cathedral of the Annunciation in the Kremlin, to get blessing from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. 

Patriarch told the newly-sworn president that he enjoyed people's confidence.

"The president's legitimacy is grounded in the trust of the people," he said. "You have that trust."

On his first official meeting on the day he was sworn in as president, Putin met the head of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.

Putin's office said he assured Rogge during their meeting that hosting the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi remains one of Putin's top priorities.

Putin was a key figure behind Russia's successful bid to host the Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014. During the past four years as prime minister he continued to oversee the preparations.

Meanwhile, police in Moscow arrested dozens of opposition supporters as new protest actions broke out May 8 against the newly-elected president.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was among the arrested, but he was later been released without any official accusation.

Minor scuffles went on throughout the day in Moscow between anti-Putin protesters and groups of pro-Kremlin youth with signs "Putin Loves Everybody" around their necks.

Thousands of people attended a mass opposition rally in the capital on the eve of Putin's inauguration.

With reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and AFP
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
May 07, 2012 12:37
For those who enjoy absurdist theater, strongly recommend that you watch the inauguration ceremony as it was portrayed to most Russians on TV. There is likely an inverse relationship between the elaborate pomp of the inauguration ceremony and the actual legitimacy of the ‘elected’ leader. I was reminded of North Korea, when watching Putin’s cortege travel from his government office to the Kremlin. Other than his extravagant motorcade, the streets of Moscow were empty. Were all Muscovites glued to their idiot box, watching this farce? I think it was Bulat Okudzhava who warned that the pedestal in Russia often ends up dwarfing the statue. That was definitely my impression watching the ceremony at the link below. No wonder Russians drink to excess.

http://www.ntv.ru/video/novosti/313280/
In Response

by: USSRonald
May 08, 2012 16:57
Just like Obama in Egypt, or Bush in Saudi Arabia. Precaution. No different from other world dictators.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 07, 2012 19:47
I would like to congratulate Vladimir Putin on the occasion of his official return to the position of the President of the Russian Federation and wish him further successes in his struggle against the arrogant ambition of the nation of Beavus and Butthead to dominate the world. Georgia in 2008 and Syria this year has been a good start!
In Response

by: USSRonald
May 08, 2012 16:58
Of course you woul yugo.
In Response

by: Ilya
May 09, 2012 03:37
You must be remarkably uncultured if your grasp of American culture is limited to Beavus and Butthead. You should visit DC and go to the Smithsonian. Visit New York and go to the Met museum. Read Fitzgerald and Wolfe. Watch Citizen Kane and The Godfather.

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