He candidly explained that his life’s purpose was dedicated to the advancement of Russia. He is determined “to do everything possible for the well-being of the country” he told a selected audience drawn from all over the country.
The head of state stressed that he was aware of the “colossal responsibility to the people and Russia” in the Hall of the Order of St. Andrew of the Grand Kremlin Palace. The inauguration marked the commencement of his new six-year term.
“I assure all that the purpose of my life and work will be, as before, serving the people. I consider it my duty and the meaning of my life to do everything for Russia, for its present and future – peaceful and prosperous, for the preservation and continuation of our great people, for well-being in every Russian family,” the president said during a ceremony marked by pomp and splendor.
Putin thanked the Russians for the high level of support provided in the presidential elections in March, understanding that his authority stems from the Russian people, and the Russian people alone.
“I consider it a huge political capital and a reliable moral support, this support is the belief and hope that Russia will continue to strengthen its power and our people will live better.” Such support is also important for defending Russian positions on the international arena and for decisive actions for the sake of positive changes within the country, the head of state noted.
The president recognised that support for entrepreneurs, scientists and creative people would be vital. In pursuing this goal, Putin is counting on “new ideas and approaches to our youth, on their ability to become the real leaders of change”. But he also stressed the bond between generations.
“The fact that young people will be faithful to the values of truth and justice, which our older generations carried through their whole life, their knowledge, wisdom, experience of mentors will certainly be in demand with our young people,” he said.
The leader of the Russian Federation paid special attention to the support of traditional family values, motherhood and childhood. Russia has in place today, a number of pro-natal policies aimed at reversing the demographic crisis which the Russian Federation faced earlier when millions died prematurely from curable diseases, and millions more fled abroad in the wake of the collapse of the USSR.
Putin has described the collapse of the USSR as the greatest geopolitical calamity of the 20th century.
“Now, we must use all existing possibilities, first of all for resolving internal urgent tasks of development, for economic and technological breakthroughs, for raising competitiveness in those spheres that determine the future,” he told thousands of guests standing in the elaborate hall and two adjacent halls.
“A new quality of life, well-being, security and people’s health – that’s what’s primary today,” he said.
“It is for them, our children, to build up our country further, to achieve even greater successes than their parents, to respect and continue the history of our Fatherland,” the president urged. Outside, after his speech, he met with young adults who took selfies with the president.
The inauguration used the publicly presented for the first time, new Russian-made Aurus Senat limousine, instead of the current Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard Pullman.
Foreign guests were received at Moscow’s VIP-airport Vnukovo-3, which traditionally serves charter flights. In this case, the route from Vnukovo-3 was blocked off, and ordinary passengers had to travel through Odintsovo airport. The security of foreign guests was assured by the Russian Federal Guard Service, Russian media reported.
According to some media reports, the arrivals of both Hollywood actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi were expected for the event, but it was ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who was warmly greeted by the Russian leader after his speech.
The President of Serbia, Alexander Vucic was not invited as he was on a visit to Turkey, where he was scheduled to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Hence, Erdogan was not present at the Kremlin either.
“I think none of the world leaders were really expected for the inauguration,” the political scientist and general director of the Institute for Political Studies, Sergei Markov told Russian news portal mk.ru. “Moscow will sympathize with their fear. Most of the leaders are afraid of Americans, they are afraid of revenge from the Americans for coming to the inauguration of Vladimir Putin. This is now rather an internal Russian issue. I expect that after May 7 there will be visits to Moscow by Alexander Lukashenko, Nursultan Nazarbayev. After them, I think, the Moldovan leader Dodon and the head of Azerbaijan Aliyev will visit Russia. There will be serious meetings, but not at the very inauguration, rather soon after.”
Born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad – now St Petersburg – Russia’s second largest city, Putin studied law. After joining the KGB secret service, he was deployed as spy in communist East Germany.
After serving as top aide to the mayor of St Petersburg, he entered the service of the first president of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin in 1997, where he was made chief of the FSB, the KGB’s successor.
In 1999 Putin was appointed prime minister, and became acting president upon Yeltsin’s resignation. He was elected for a fourth term this year with an official tally of 77 percent of the vote, during the elections in March.