Putin renews oath for fifth term with Russia under firm control

BBC.com reports: “For the fifth time Vladimir Putin took the long walk through the Grand Kremlin Palace to the St Andrew’s Throne Hall. There he took the oath of office and was sworn in as Russia’s president for a new six-year term.

‘We are a united and great people. Together we will overcome all obstacles, we will bring all our plans to fruition, and together we will win,’ President Putin told an audience of ministers and dignitaries.

The red carpet route may have been familiar to him. But much has changed since President Putin’s first inauguration ceremony in May 2000.

Back then, President Putin pledged to ‘preserve and develop democracy’ and to ‘take care of Russia.’

Twenty-four years on, the Kremlin leader is waging war against Ukraine; a war in which Russia has suffered heavy losses. At home, instead of developing democracy, President Putin has been curtailing it: jailing critics, removing all checks and balances on his power.

‘Putin thinks of himself now as Vladimir the Great, as a Russian tsar,’ believes Fiona Hill, a former White House national security advisor…”

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