Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president

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Vladimir Putin has been sworn in for his fourth term as president of Russia at a ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow.

Video footage released by Russian television showed Mr Putin’s distinctive walk along the Great Kremlin Palace’s long corridors, thanking supporters as they applauded him.

Putin shakes the hand of prime minister Medvedev vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews putin medvedev 4303231
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Mr Putin shakes the hand of prime minister Medvedev

Mr Putin has been in power in Russia since 1999, whether as prime minister or president, and is Russia’s longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

After winning a landslide victory in March, Mr Putin, 65, is expected to continue to control Russia until at least 2024, despite protests on Saturday amid a crackdown on encrypted messaging app Telegram.

Vladimir Putin is applauded as he attends his inauguration vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews vladimir putin inauguration 4303209
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Vladimir Putin is applauded as he attends his inauguration

Supporters see Mr Putin as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow’s global power.

:: Diana Magnay – Have Russia’s anti-Putin protests gone stale?

Guests gather before a ceremony to inaugurate Vladimir Putin as President of Russia at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia May 7, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews russia putin inauguration 4303193
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Guests gather before a ceremony to inaugurate Vladimir Putin as president

The Kremlin has planned a low-key inauguration ceremony that will not include a lavish Kremlin reception in an apparent effort to eschew any bad publicity.

A respectful gun salute was held outside the Kremlin at Mr Putin was sworn in.

A gun salute welcomes Mr Putin's fourth term as president vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews putin gun salute 4303227
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A gun salute welcomes Mr Putin’s fourth term as president

The ceremony is being watched across the world as the Russian leader finds himself increasingly at odds with much of the international community.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Mr Putin’s support for Syria’s Assad, as well as the use of a chemical weapon it manufactured in an attempted assassination in Salisbury, have resulted in sanctions against the country.

A hairdresser, who watches a ceremony to inaugurate Vladimir Putin as President of Russia, is reflected in a mirror at a hair design salon in Stavropol, Russia May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews russia putin inauguration 4303226
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A hairdresser in Stavropol watches the inauguration ceremony

His inauguration follows nationwide rallies and protests which resulted in the arrests of at least 1,200 demonstrators.

Russia’s interior ministry said about half of the 1,200 arrests happened in Moscow, but monitoring group OVD-Info put the number at more than 1,600 across 20 cities.

Putin smiles at attendees in the Great Kremlin Palace vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews putin vladimir smiling 4303211
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Putin smiles at attendees in the Great Kremlin Palace

Protest leader Alexei Navalny was arrested in Moscow’s Pushkin Square on Saturday, but he later tweeted that he had been released and will face charges of organising an unauthorised meeting and of resisting police.

Mr Putin’s inauguration comes ahead of Russia hosting the World Cup 2018 this summer.

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Vladimir Putin holds the World Cup trophy

In a widely expected win in March, Mr Putin secured more than 76.66% of the vote and a turnout of 67.47%, the Central Election Commission said.

The result came amid allegations of election violations, including ballot-box stuffing and forced voting.

The Kremlin, St Basil's Cathedral and the Zaryadye Park in Moscow vladimir putin has been sworn in as russian president Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian president skynews kremlin moscow russia 4257813
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Vladimir Putin described continuing in office beyond this term as ‘ridiculous’

Addressing a crowd near Moscow’s Red Square shortly after the count, Mr Putin said his victory was a vote of confidence in his achievements.

“It’s very important to maintain this unity,” he said.

“We will think about the future of our great Motherland,” he said, before leading the crowd in repeated chants of “Russia!”

Asked later if he could seek the presidency again in 2030, Mr Putin replied: “It’s ridiculous. Do you think I will sit here until I turn 100?”

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